This bill establishes standards and requirements related to free speech and academic freedom at University of Wisconsin System (UWS) and Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) institutions. The bill generally prohibits UWS and WTCS institutions from restricting or regulating speech and expressive activity in public indoor and outdoor areas on campus, provided the speech or expression is lawful and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The bill also establishes due process guarantees for any student, employee, or organization involved in a disciplinary hearing at a UWS or WTCS institution. Under the bill, if a UWS or WTCS institution is found to have violated the bill’s due process guarantees more than once in a 10-year period, that institution loses eligibility for the allocation of Wisconsin grants for a period of at least one fiscal year.
ACLU-WI supports many provisions in the bill regarding free speech and academic protections that simply codify established First Amendment protections for students. Additionally, ACLU-WI supports due process protections guaranteed to students in disciplinary proceedings, including the right to representation and right to material evidence ahead of time.