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University of Michigan reviews trespass policy

Flickr user Dextera Photography

The University of Michigan is reviewing its trespass policy after faculty members have requested an update.  The review follows an incident last fall when former assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell was banned from campus. He allegedly harassed the U of M student body leader in person and online. The ACLU has complained about banning Shirvell from campus.  

Changes could include making the policy’s language more specific about when to give a warning, having several public safety officials review a warning once it’s been issued, and putting time limits on how long warnings last.

Suellyn Scarnecchia is a vice president and lawyer with the university.  She says the university is trying to balance two important values: freedom of speech and the safety of the community.

University officials will be talking with dozens of groups and civil liberty organizations about their concerns. An updated version of the school’s trespass policy should be out in May.

Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a substitute host and producer at KNKX.