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UNC Takes Steps to Crack Down on Heckler’s Veto

UNC Takes Steps to Crack Down on Heckler’s Veto

“Campus Free Speech Act”

It’ll be interesting to see if their efforts are successful. If so, maybe other schools will adopt the policy.

Campus Reform reports:

UNC cracks down on disruptions with new free speech policy

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors passed a systemwide free speech policy Friday in response to demands from lawmakers that it take steps to curb the “heckler’s veto.”

The North Carolina General Assembly passed the “Campus Free Speech Act” in July, which requires the Board of Governors to develop and adopt a policy on free speech and free expression that guarantees “the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression” on campus, including sanctions for any student or employee who “substantially disrupts” the free speech of others.

“It is not the proper role of any constituent institution to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment, including, without limitation, ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive,” the policy states.

Under the new policy, all universities within the system are obligated to allow unfettered free speech, as long as the expression “is lawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the constituent institution.”

A “substantial disruption” is defined by the policy as any action treated under state law as disorderly conduct, disruption, violation of a chancellor’s designation of a curfew period, or trespassing, as well as “protests and demonstrations that materially infringe upon the rights of others to engage in and listen to expressive activity when the expressive activity.”


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and listen to expressive activity when the expressive activity.”


This sounds like something the very late President Harding would say. Consider the infamous line from his 1921 Inaugural speech, “I would like the government to do all it can to mitigate, then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved.”