HOUSE BILL No. 4436

 

 

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

 

classroom.

 

     (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.