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12/20/2017 Protect First Amendment Rights at UNC

American Civil Liberties Union
PROTECT FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS AT UNC
As students across the country push back against hateful, racist, and bigoted speakers on their college campuses, the
University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors wants to put in place a policy that could chill free speech on
campuses across the state and may violate people's First Amendment rights, particularly their right to peacefully
protest.

The new policy under consideration calls for extreme punishment – including suspension and
expulsion – for anyone who disrupts a campus speech. But it broadly defines what type of behavior will be
considered a disruption and ultimately runs the risk of punishing protest activity that is protected by the First
Amendment.

Under this proposed policy, students could be punished more harshly for disrupting a speaker than
other offenses like plagiarism or hazing.

As the Board considers this policy, they should remove the harsh disciplinary recommendations and narrow the
definition of what would be considered a disruption to prevent punishing constitutionally protected free speech and
free expression.

A committee of the UNC Board of Governors has already approved this policy for its sixteen college
campuses. But before it is implemented, it must go to the full board for a vote. Contact the Board of
Governors to tell them they must modify the policy to protect the First Amendment rights of all
people on UNC campuses.

Message Recipients: Delivery Method: Your Contact Information:
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Fix the Policy on Free Speech and Free Expre
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As a supporter of free speech for all, I'm concerned that First *
language in UNC's proposed "Policy on Free Speech and Free
Expression" could violate the First Amendment rights of
Last *
students, faculty, and employees to criticize on-campus
speakers. As now written, the policy includes harsh disciplinary
recommendations for people who disrupt speakers, and broad Email *
definitions of what would be considered a disruption.

Address *
As you prepare to vote on this policy, I urge you to remove those
harsh disciplinary recommendations and narrow the definition
of "disruption" so that protest speech that is protected by the City *
First Amendment is not threatened.

State *
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12/20/2017 Protect First Amendment Rights at UNC

Editable text: North Carolina
(edit or add your own text - 8588 characters left)
ZIP * ZIP + 4
Under this new policy, students could be
punished more harshly for disrupting a
Phone
speaker than other offenses like
(required by some officials)
plagiarism or hazing. I am an advocate for
free speech and believe campuses should
foster an environment where all voices are
heard and competing viewpoints can be
Fight for Freedom
aired without fear of punishment or
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In the rare circumstances where free speech is truly threatened
by student conduct on campus, existing school codes of conduct
already have appropriate remedies to address it. These new,
severe punishments are not only unnecessary but could end up
severely limiting free speech on campus - an ironic outcome for
a policy supposedly designed to protect free speech and free
expression. Please modify the policy to ensure that it lives up to
its name.

Your Closing: Your Name:
Sincerely,

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