Owens Co-Sponsors the Free Speech on Campus Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Chairman of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, co-sponsored the Free Speech on Campus Act. This bill takes major steps to protect the fundamental right of free expression at American universities and aims to return to a culture of respect and tolerance towards diversity of thought in higher education.

The legislation amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require public institutions of higher education to provide written materials during orientation explaining students’ First Amendment rights, affirming the importance of the free exchange of ideas to that institution, and outlining policies and protocols the institution will take to protect free expression.

“Freedom of Speech is a core American value enshrined in our nation’s founding documents,” said Rep.Owens. “The recent uptick in attacks on guest speakers, faculty, and students with conservative views undermines one of America’s fundamental constitutional rights – the First Amendment. I am proud to support the Free Speech on Campus Act to ensure free expression on campuses in colleges and universities, preserve America’s cherished democratic values, and restore the free marketplace of ideas in higher education.”

The full text of the legislation is available here.

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