Charles Koch Institute Statement on Campus Speech

Student expression—their ability to protest, assemble, or even speak—is in peril in Arizona, where a bill passed yesterday would grant universities the ability to gravely curtail students’ rights on campus. The bill, heavily influenced by the Goldwater Institute, explicitly says: “A university or community college may restrict a student’s right to speak, including verbal speech, holding a sign or distributing fliers or other materials, in a public forum.”

“This development may have started with good intentions to protect free speech, but it does the opposite,” says Sarah Ruger, director of free expression initiatives at the Charles Koch Institute. “College campuses provide environments that encourage all people to debate and explore differing perspectives. Legislation that allows colleges to restrict students’ expression may start as attempts to bring more balanced perspectives to campuses, but it ends with shutting down civil discourse and academic inquiry.”

The Charles Koch Institute and Foundation have long expressed their disagreement with any measures, whether legal or cultural, whether from the Left or Right, that try to limit students’ ability to freely express themselves on campus. Here are some of our perspectives:

For additional queries, please contact Trice Jacobson at trice.jacobson@cki.org.

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