Iowa recently passed a Free Speech law, requiring all public colleges and universities to adhere to the First Amendment and respect free speech on campus.
What the bill does not address, however, is what happens when a college is presented with a “questionable” student group, according to The Hawkeye.
Students at Southeastern Community College in Iowa have shown interest in starting a Turning Point USA chapter on campus.
The college is currently meeting with an attorney to clarify the Iowa Free Speech legislation in hopes of finding leeway to bar TPUSA from campus.
Turning Point USA stands for timeless, non-political, American values: free speech, free markets, free people. While many colleges and universities are trying to blacklist the organization from campus, legislators have been trying to fight back.
“We do have an application for a student group that is heavily right-winged in its mentality and presentation,” Southeastern Community College President Michael Ash told a board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, “You will get, if you haven’t already, push-back from faculty and staff who think the group shouldn’t be sanctioned.”
The President told the board members that the college is working with an attorney to determine if the school has a choice in approving the student group on campus.
President Ash believes that Turning Point USA will not be excluded under the free speech on campus bill, but it is unclear on whether or not the group can be banned.
The new law requires public universities and community colleges to adopt policies that respect free speech on their campuses, as well as guarantee the right of students to organize in groups – regardless of their viewpoints.
“If they’re going to form a student Nazi group, I assume we would find a way to stop it because it’s a hate group,” said trustee Lanny Hillyard. Shockingly, this trustee is relating Nazism with a grassroots movement delineated specifically to educate students on free markets and limited government.
Ash said the college is manufacturing a policy with strict guidelines in order to bar hate groups and discriminatory activities from the college’s campus. This legislation will, supposedly, work as best with the Iowa legislation as possible.
The Turning Point USA Chapter is currently awaiting legal consultation, as attorneys have become involved with Southeastern Community College to formulate a policy that can ban them. There is still uncertainty on whether or not the school will have a role in the decision.
Despite presidential and legislative support for the freedom of speech, student’s voices are still being silenced on campus. Turning Point USA is fighting back hard – with the support of the First Amendment!