University of Wisconsin approves free speech policy that punishes student protesters

University of Wisconsin approves free speech policy that punishes student protesters
  1. University of Wisconsin approves free speech policy that punishes student protesters
    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…

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 the University of Wisconsin-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."

The policy comes amid complaints from conservatives across the U.S. that right-leaning speakers aren't afforded the same level of respect on campuses as liberal presenters. Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 shouted down and traded obscene gestures with ex-Breitbart editor and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro.

The University of California-Berkeley canceled an appearance by right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulus in September. Four protests have turned violent on that campus and in the nearby city in recent months.

The new Wisconsin policy mirrors Republican legislation the state Assembly passed in June, though the Senate has yet to act on the bill.

Regents President John Robert Behling told the board before Friday's vote that adopting the policy ahead of the legislation shows "a responsiveness to what's going on in the Capitol, which helps build relationships."

Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointed all but two of the board's 18 members. State public schools Superintendent Tony Evers and Wisconsin Technical College System Board President Mark Tyler are automatically regents by virtue of their offices.

Evers, a Democrat running against Walker in next year's gubernatorial election, cast the only dissenting vote. He accused the regents of sacrificing free speech to curry favor with Republican lawmakers.

"This policy will chill and suppress free speech on this campus and all campuses," Evers said.

Other Democratic opponents charge that the policy doesn't clearly define what type of conduct is…

  1. Official: Ghana gas station explosions kill number of people - World
    10.07 / 22:45
    ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana’s deputy information minister says a tanker explosion at a gas-filling station, followed by a secondary blast, has left a number of casualties in the Legon suburb in northwest Accra. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said the gas tanker exploded Saturday near the station and the initial fire has been controlled. He said fire […
  2. North Korean embassies work on raising money to send back home - World
    10.07 / 22:45
    North Korean diplomats and their underlings have brokered deals for weapons and drugs and more mundane products like machine tools and…
  3. Extreme weather a big test for Tokyo’s elaborate defense against flooding - World
    10.07 / 22:23
    Across Japan, rainfall measuring more than 2 inches an hour has increased 30 percent over the past three decades, the Japan Meteorological Agency estimates. The frequency of rainfall of more than 3 inches an hour has jumped 70…
  4. Montana mayoral candidate only needs 1 vote — his — to win - World
    10.07 / 22:23
    MANHATTAN, Mont. (AP) — There’s only one person running for mayor of Manhattan, Montana and he only needs to vote for himself to win. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Glen Clements was the only person to apply to be a write-in candidate for the position on the November ballot. Under Montana law, any other […
  5. 3 arrested during protest at Virginia University event - World
    10.07 / 22:05
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Three people have been arrested following a protest during a bicentennial celebration at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The star-studded Friday night show featured performances by Leslie Odom Jr., the star of Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Goo Goo Dolls. The Daily Progress reports that as journalist Katie Couric, a university […
  6. Arkansas church named for martyred Oklahoma priest - World
    10.07 / 22:05
    DECATUR, Ark. (AP) — A small Arkansas church has been named in honor of a martyred priest from Oklahoma. The Oklahoman reports the Catholic church in Decatur has been dedicated as a mission and named the Blessed Stanley Rother Catholic Church. The Most Rev. Anthony Taylor, bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, says the […
  7. Tulsa businessman to join crowded field for governor in 2018 - World
    10.07 / 22:05
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Tulsa businessman is the latest candidate to jump into the race for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor in 2018. Kevin Stitt has scheduled news conferences on Monday in Jenks, Edmond and Lawton to formally announce his candidacy. The 44-year-old father of six is the chief operating officer of Gateway […
  8. Authorities seize 76 pounds of methamphetamine in Oregon - World
    10.07 / 22:05
    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Authorities arrested three men in western Oregon and seized handguns, more than $50,000 in cash and 76 pounds of methamphetamine. The Statesman Journal reports ( ) that the men from Hubbard were arrested over a three-day period beginning on Monday after a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Linn […
  9. Trump reaches out to Schumer, Democrats in bid for 'great' new health care law - World
    10.07 / 21:54
    Trying to revive health care talks, President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he had spoken to the Senate's Democratic leader to gauge whether the minority party was interested in helping pass "great" health legislation. The answer back: Democrats are willing to hear his ideas, but…
  10. 'Putin, go away': Protesters rally across Russia on president's 65th birthday - World
    10.07 / 20:45
    In a challenge to President Vladimir Putin on his 65th birthday, protesters rallied across Russia on Saturday, heeding opposition leader Alexei Navalny's call to pressure authorities into letting him enter the presidential race. Police allowed demonstrators in Moscow to rally near the Kremlin…
  11. Davenport woman pleads guilty to stealing from association - World
    10.07 / 20:25
    DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $150,000 from the School Nutrition Association of Iowa. The Quad-City Times reports that 74-year-old Norma Jean Adams pleaded guilty Friday to commission of an unlawful activity. She faces up to 25 years in prison when she’s sentenced at a later date. […
  12. TSA warns of man trying to enter restricted airport areas - World
    10.07 / 20:25
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal Transportation Security Administration is warning officials to be on the lookout for a man who has tried to gain unauthorized access to airports across the country, most recently in Maryland. TSA said in a recent warning that Ahmed Olasunkahmi Salau has tried for at least a year to access restricted […
  13. Colorado officials won’t release Roan Plateau culling data - World
    10.07 / 20:25
    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Colorado wildlife officials are refusing to release the results of the first year of culling mountain lions and bears on the Roan Plateau. The Daily Sentinel reports that Colorado Parks and Wildlife turned down its request for the information because of a lawsuit challenging the program, which is aimed at […
  14. Opinion: Payments to Nebraska Parole Board members improper - World
    10.07 / 20:25
    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A legal opinion issued by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office says nearly $58,000 in payments made to three departing Nebraska Parole Board members for unused sick and vacation time were improper. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the opinion, issued Friday, agreed with a finding by the State Auditor’s Office that the […
  15. Ohio man among soldiers killed and hurt at US army base - World
    10.07 / 20:10
    FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) — Officials say an Army private from Ohio has been killed after a military vehicle struck a formation of soldiers at a training base in South Carolina. The Ohio soldier killed Friday at Fort Jackson has been identified as Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft, of Cincinnati. A soldier from Tennessee also was killed. […
  16. A few visitors to Cuba report symptoms similar to attacks on U.S. workers: official - World
    10.07 / 19:59
    The United States has received "a handful of reports" from American citizens who say they've experienced symptoms similar to those in attacks of U.S. government workers in Havana, a State Department official said Friday. The U.S. isn't vouching for the reports. In a security notice Friday to…
  17. Police probe letter calling on day care to fire black worker - World
    10.07 / 19:35
    WHITEHALL, Pa. (AP) — Police are investigating an anonymous letter calling on a Pennsylvania day care center to fire a black worker because of her skin color. The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that the Bridge 2 Creative Leaning Center in Whitehall Township received an envelope Tuesday containing letters addressed to the owner and a worker. […
  18. Economic development surging in New Mexico tribal community - World
    10.07 / 19:35
    ZUNI PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — An entire neighborhood dating back to the mid-1900s is being remodeled. There’s a building boom going on in Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico. Zuni Councilwoman Virginia Chavez told the Gallup Independent ( that economic development was the focus when she ran for office in 2014 and pledged her support […
  19. Corner store owner shot during apparent robbery attempt - World
    10.07 / 19:35
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say a Philadelphia corner store owner was critically injured in a shooting during an apparent attempted robbery. A police spokeswoman says officers were called to Freddy Grocery in the Mantua neighborhood of west Philadelphia just after 8:30 p.m. Friday. Investigators said a customer found the 49-year-old woman behind the counter with […
  20. Fairbanks home heat initiative cleared for 2018 ballot - World
    10.07 / 19:35
    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Voters will get to decide if they want to prohibit the Fairbanks North Star Borough from regulating heating appliances and combustible fuels after a petition initiative received the required number of signatures to get on the city’s ballot next year. While the group of Alaska residents who are pushing to roll […