Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 25, 2013

'Campus expression' policy put on hold again

TRAVERSE CITY — Work on a controversial “campus expression” policy at Northwestern Michigan College will be shelved until spring.

NMC board member Cheryl Gore Follette proposed the delay at a Monday board meeting because Traverse City attorney Al Quick won’t be available until then.

Quick recently provided the board with legal broad strokes on how to revamp its originally approved policy, which the American Civil Liberties Union characterized as “clearly and blatantly unconstitutional.”

The policy was approved last spring, but put on hold until September after questions were quickly raised about its constitutionality.

The policy required that those who wanted to speak on campus apply for a permit four business days in advance, and speak only in designated “Free Speech” areas so as not to block the movement of students and campus visitors.

The board still wants to pursue an expression policy, in part, because it will make it easier to enforce trespassing violations.

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