SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Amended version of campus free speech bill passes Senate

An amended version of a campus free speech bill passed in the North Dakota Senate Thursday afternoon. Senate Bill 2320, which was introduced by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, was previously six pages long and laid out specific regulations surr...

2225105+Capitol of ND-Wenzel.jpg
North Dakota State Capitol. (Korrie Wenzel/Grand Forks Herald)

An amended version of a campus free speech bill passed in the North Dakota Senate Thursday afternoon.

Senate Bill 2320, which was introduced by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, was previously six pages long and laid out specific regulations surrounding guest speakers at North Dakota University System campuses. The amended bill is now just two pages long and contains broader language.

It passed 35-10, with two senators who did not vote.

Now the bill states that the State Board of Higher Education and each institution will adopt a policy that protects students' rights to free speech, assembly and expression and permits institutions to establish and enforce "reasonable and constitutional time, place, and manner" restrictions on free speech, assembly and expression.

The bill also would require that the policy permits students, faculty, or student organizations to "invite guest speakers or groups to present regardless of the viewpoint or content of the anticipated speech of the guest speaker or group."

ADVERTISEMENT

Finally, the policy must also protect the academic freedom and free speech rights of faculty, "while adhering to guidelines established by the American Association of University Professors."

Sen. Erin Oban, D-Bismarck, spoke on behalf of the bill Thursday afternoon. She said from 2014 to 2018 there have been zero complaints related to alleged violations of First Amendment rights and only one informal concern brought forward, which was addressed and resolved the next day.

"Though we don't feel this is actually an issue in our state versus perhaps other states where you might hear some controversy, we all feel strongly that the State Board should provide clear and uniform policies that cover all of our campuses," she said.

What to read next
While social and emotional impacts on students have been a concern throughout the pandemic, staff at Wadena-Deer Creek Schools in Minnesota have worked on mental health and trauma-informed school training for about four years. The elementary school added Mary Ellenson as student success coordinator at the start of this school year, along with morning meetings and additional curriculum to create common vocabulary, unity and encourage discussion about emotions.
The pandemic has changed nursing, raising questions about the future of nursing and most immediately, who wants to even be a nurse. This crisis in nursing is causing nursing educators to quickly rethink how they train their students and making health systems rethink how they recruit and retain nurses.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack hears from a reader who needs advice on how to handle a grandmother's difficult personality.
When the days get shorter, people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may begin to struggle. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a University of Minnesota psychologist about how to cope if you have symptoms of this depressive disorder.