Ask your State Rep to reject so-called campus "free speech" bills

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There are two bills moving through the Ohio General Assembly (House Bill 88 and Senate Bill 40) that aim to force institutions of higher education to host any speaker on their campus and eliminate free speech zones, among other things. It makes our institutions even more likely to become involved in highly politicized controversies, and is potentially very costly--neither of which is what our students and the taxpayers can possibly want our institutions to be distracted by or expending resources on.

They are called the "Forming Open and Robust University Minds" or FORUM Acts, and have been dubbed "campus free speech" bills.

The AAUP's position has been that the campus community's First Amendment rights are already protected, and that our institutions have done well balancing free expression with the safety and welfare of our campuses. These bills are a solution in search of a problem. The legislature should avoid interfering in matters that our institutions have handled well themselves.

Unfortunately, the Ohio Senate already has passed SB 40, but there still is a chance to stop these bills in the Ohio House. Filling out this form will send a message to your State Representative.