April 9, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Reilly, Hoitenga, Steven Johnson, Miller, Meerman, Paquette, Markkanen, Hornberger, LaFave, Eisen and Mueller and referred to the Committee on Oversight.
A bill to promote and safeguard the right of free speech and
assembly on the campuses of public universities and community and
junior colleges; and to provide for the powers and duties of
certain state and local governmental officers and entities.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the
"college campus intellectual and expressive freedom act".
Sec. 2. As used in this act:
(a) "Expressive activity" includes, but is not limited to, all
peaceful forms of assembly, protest, speech, distributing
literature, carrying signs, and circulating petitions in open
areas, and filming and broadcasting on the internet, by any number
of individuals and whether planned or spontaneous.
(b) "Public institution of higher education" or "institution"
means a public community or junior college established under
section 7 of article VIII of the state constitution of 1963 or part
25 of the revised school code, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1601 to
380.1607, or a state university described in section 4, 5, or 6 of
article VIII of the state constitution of 1963.
(c) "Student organization" means any student group officially
recognized by, or seeking official recognition from, a public
institution of higher education that receives or seeks to receive
benefits from the institution.
Sec. 3. A public institution of higher education shall do all
of the following:
(a) Develop and adopt a policy on free expression that
contains at least the following:
(i) A statement that an essential part of the institution's
mission is the discovery, improvement, transmission, and
dissemination of knowledge by means of research, teaching,
discussion, and debate and that, to fulfill this function, the
institution will strive to ensure the fullest degree of
intellectual freedom and free expression.
(ii) A statement assuring that students and faculty are free
to discuss anything, as the First Amendment of the Constitution of
the United States permits and within the limits of reasonable
viewpoint- and content-neutral restrictions on time, place, and
manner of expression. For purposes of this subparagraph and
subparagraph (iii), a viewpoint- and content-neutral restriction of
expression is reasonable only if it is consistent with this
section, is in furtherance of a significant institutional interest,
is clearly written and published, and provides ample alternative
means of expression.
(iii) A statement assuring that students and faculty are
permitted to assemble and engage in expressive activity as long as
the activity is not unlawful and does not materially and
substantially disrupt the functioning of the institution, as the
First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States permits
and within the limits of reasonable viewpoint- and content-neutral
restrictions on time, place, and manner of expression.
(iv) A statement assuring any person lawfully present on
campus the right to protest or demonstrate there but making clear
that protests and demonstrations that substantially and materially
infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to
expressive activity are not permitted and are subject to sanction.
A statement that complies with this subparagraph does not prohibit
professors or other instructors from maintaining order in the
(v) A statement assuring that the institution's campuses are
open to any speaker whom students, student groups, or members of
the faculty have invited.
(vi) A statement assuring that the public areas of campuses of
the institution are traditional public forums, open on the same
terms to any speaker.
(vii) A statement assuring that belief-based student
organizations will not be denied any benefits or privileges
available to other student organizations and that a belief-based
organization will not be discriminated against based on the
expressive activity of the organization or based on any requirement
that leaders or members of the organization affirm and adhere to
the organization's sincerely held beliefs, comply with the
organization's standards of conduct, or further the organization's
mission or purpose.
(viii) A statement assuring that the institution will strive
to remain neutral, as an institution, on the public policy
controversies of the day, except those that affect the function of
the institution or the rights and welfare of members of its
community, and will not take any action, as an institution, on the
public policy controversies of the day that would require students
or faculty to publicly express a given view of social policy.
(ix) A statement assuring that the policy on free expression
adopted under this subdivision supersedes all prior provisions of
institutional policy or regulation to the extent that those prior
provisions are inconsistent with the policy on free expression
adopted under this subdivision and that the institution will remove
or revise any inconsistent prior provision of policy or regulation
to ensure compatibility of its policies and regulations with the
policy on free expression adopted under this subdivision.
(b) Include in freshman orientation programs, handbooks, and
websites information for students describing the policies and
regulations regarding free expression consistent with this section.
(c) Develop materials, programs, and procedures to ensure that
all individuals who have responsibility for discipline or education
of students, including, but not limited to, administrators, campus
police officers, residence life officials, and professors,
understand the policies, regulations, and duties of the public
institution of higher education regarding free expression on campus
consistent with this act.
Sec. 4. This act does not prevent a public institution of
higher education from prohibiting, limiting, or otherwise
restricting expressive activity in a manner permitted by the First
Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and sections 3
and 5 of article I of the state constitution of 1963.