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ACLU urges U of M to reconsider proposed policy to limit disruptive protests on campus

The Big House at the University of Michigan
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Legal groups are asking the University of Michigan to rethink a proposed policy aimed at curbing disruptive protests on campus.

U of M proposed the new policy after activists interrupted a university event last month to demand the university divest its investments in Israeli companies.

Under the draft policy, U of M students who take part in what the university deems to be “disruptive activities” could face punishments including suspension and expulsion. Faculty, staff, and contractors could also face penalties.

The American Civil Liberties Union urged the university to rethink the proposed policy. In a letter sent to U of M officials this week, the ACLU of Michigan said the policy would “unnecessarily limit civil liberties, particularly the right of free speech and protest.”

The Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild also sent U of M a letter accusing university officials of “ repressive tactics.”

University spokeswoman Colleen Mastony declined to comment directly on individual letters received during the policy review process.

“The university is now in the process of reviewing that feedback to ensure that any new policy reflects our mission and values,” Mastony said in a written statement.

The policy review process is expected to take months to complete.

The University of Michigan holds Michigan Public's broadcast license.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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