University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations, saying students need to listen to all sides of issues and arguments.
The Board of Regents adopted the language on a voice vote during a meeting at UW-Stout in Menomonie.
The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in violence or other disorderly conduct that disrupts others’ free speech would be suspended. Students found to have disrupted others’ free expression three times would be expelled.
“Perhaps the most important thing we can do as a university is to teach students how to engage and listen to those with whom they differ,” system President Ray Cross told the regents. “If we don’t show students how to do this, who will? Without civil discourse and a willingness to listen and engage with different voices, all we are doing is reinforcing our existing values.”
That is an incredibly healthy and appropriate statement from Ray Cross. Good for him. Nobody is saying that students can’t protest or express their views. All they are saying is that they can’t bully others into silence without consequences. For the record, that’s how it works in the real world.