The bill, authored by Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, would require UW campuses to suspend or expel students who violate the policy twice. Kremer said the bill is needed to ensure people on campuses can listen to constitutionally protected speech, no matter how offensive or unpopular it may be.
“It just so happens that right now, it’s conservative voices on college campuses who feel that they are being suppressed and censored,” Kremer said. “And in the future, that could change, so we want to make sure that this is enshrined in law.”
Kremer’s co-authors are Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Rep. Dave Murphy and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf. The latter two chair the Legislature’s higher education committees.
The intent of this bill is good. There is a clearly an issue with liberal fascists using any means necessary to silence opposing viewpoints and the administrations of many universities are not creating an environment of academic freedom on campus where all voices can be heard. In an ideal world, this bill would not be necessary because university administrators and faculty would champion free speech and crack down on people who seek to deny others their rights. But we don’t live in a perfect world and the state government is within its area of responsibilities to protect people’s rights. The key will be making sure that everyone’s free speech rights are protected.