UPDATE: UW Board of Regents passes controversial "Freedom of Exp - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: UW Board of Regents passes controversial "Freedom of Expression" rule

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- The UW Board of Regents Monday approved a measure that would allow the expulsion of students who disrupt controversial speakers. The measure passed on a voice vote.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The UW Board of Regents plans to vote on a rule that would expel students who continuously disrupt speakers on UW campuses across the state. 

Assembly Bill 299 passed the State Assembly in June and the board will vote on it Friday. 

It comes after several controversial speakers across the nation have tried speaking at universities, but have been met with disruptions, some of them turning violent in California. 

Last fall, conservative writer Ben Shapiro was interrupted by several students who rushed the stage and chanted in unison. It went on for several minutes before Shapiro was seen flipping them off as the students left the room. 

But soon, students who continue to take part in disruptive protests of speakers will be penalized. 

"The University of Wisconsin is a place where it's a world class education but we are going to communicate in a in a safe and civil environment," said board President John Behling. 

The bill would allow UW schools to suspend students who disrupt free expression twice, and expel them for a third offense. Some students aren't welcoming the new rule.

"I think to tell students that their use of their first amendment rights is something that could get them expelled is absolutely and incredibly ridiculous," said Brianna Koerth, a junior at UW-Madison.

"Voicing your opinion at times where it might seem disruptive is important cause all voices should be present on campus," said junior Laurel Noack.

But the board says it's members favor the policy. 

"We as a board felt it was important to talk about the matter to put together a draft policy so that if the situations do occur we have a systematic policy that works for every campus across the state," said Behling. 

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