Final Report, Recommendations Released on “Freedom Of Expression” Policy

By: ,
Posted on:

< < Back to

The advisory group reviewing Ohio University’s controversial interim police on freedom of expression released a report Monday with numerous recommendations for the creation of a new policy.

Among the 24 recommendations, the Presidential Policy Advisory Group affirmed the need for a “Freedom of Expression” policy, clear policy language emphasizing what is permitted as opposed to prohibited and designated spaces for students to assemble when protesting. 

The report comes after months of work — including public forums with the community about an interim policy, which barred students from protesting inside university buildings among other restrictions.

The policy was created in the wake of a student protest inside the Baker University Center, the student union on campus, in early 2017. Seventy students were arrested in the building’s rotunda. 

The advisory group is also recommending students be barred from assembling to protest in the Baker University Center rotunda and the inside of Cutler Hall.

The report recommends creating companion policies that would affirm the university’s commitment to free speech rights and spell out the few exceptions of when, where and how assemblies can take place on campus. These companion policies would be based on a similar model at the University of Chicago.

While the university will restrict students from using Baker University Center rotunda for protests, the report notes the university should “identify alternative spaces in Baker Center.”

In a community forum two weeks ago, many college students, faculty and community members expressed concerns that the university was taking away public spaces used for free speech.

The 31-page report can be found here.