In Wake Of Protests, UC Davis Considering New Free Speech Policy

DAVIS (CBS13) — It was one of the wildest political showdowns ever at UC Davis; angry students silencing conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos after a standoff between protesters and police officers.

“From what I saw the only violence was from the protesters not from Milo,” said Graham Everett.

Graham Everett watched from a distance. The international relations major doesn’t care for the controversial speaker either but believes in his right to free speech.

“I think there’s plenty of ways to express yourself that doesn’t infringe on someone else’s right to free speech,” he said.
UC Davis officials agree.

Six months after the protest, a group consisting of students and law professors is out with recommendations to ensure future speakers can go on unhindered.

Among them:

  • discipline students who disrupt the speech of others on campus.
  • work with local police or, as necessary, other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the speaker.
  • create a Freedom of Expression Committee to get the campus to understand the value of free speech

“That sounds like an overreaction,” said another student.

For this grad student, the school should think twice about allowing speech that may incite violence.

I don’t think we should have just unregulated speech,” said William Swanson.

But school administrators want to make sure even the most controversial speakers are given a platform, especially in a public university.

“What kind of institution doesn’t allow freedom of thought?” said Everett.

The interim Chancellor has asked the school’s general counsel to review the recommendations before replacing the current free speech policy.

More from Lemor Abrams
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