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Senate Republicans Vote in Support of Protecting Arizona Students' Constitutional Right to Free Speech on Campus


Thursday, February 29, 2024

Senate Republicans Vote in Support of Protecting Arizona Students' Constitutional Right to Free Speech on Campus

PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Legislation to ensure transparency and free speech protections within Arizona's public universities passed out of the Senate today with full Republican support.

Senator Anthony Kern championed several bills to address troubling circumstances brought to light during hearings of the Joint Legislative Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression at Arizona's Public Universities. The primary measure, SB 1304, aims to hold the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) accountable for providing proper oversight of the public universities they were appointed to govern.

This bill would require ABOR and each community college district governing board to adopt an enforceable free expression policy specifying students and faculty may assemble or engage in expressive activities without penalty or retaliation and emphasizes the board's duty to oversee the universities' adherence to the policy. In order to provide much needed transparency, it would also require each academic unit to prominently post outlined information, including the name and syllabus of each course, to its website.

"It's clear state resources have been previously used to inhibit students' fundamental rights to freedom of speech and expression on public university campuses," said Senator Kern. "It's our obligation to ensure Arizona's public universities protect ALL students and that professors are not shut down or kicked out for having conservative views. We also need to make sure ABOR is actually doing its job."

SB 1304 will now head to the House for consideration.


For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate

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1 Comment

Colin Crane
Colin Crane
Jul 03

According to this bill, the ABOR and the governing boards of all community college districts must establish a legally binding policy protecting the right of students and faculty to peacefully assemble and participate in other forms of expression on campus without fear of reprisal. The bill also stresses the responsibility of these boards to ensure that the universities comply with this policy. cluster rush

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