UMass Policy On “Free Speech Zones” Draws Fire From Montigny
A policy creating a “free speech zone” at UMass Dartmouth has come under fire from students, faculty and alumni. The so-called public forum space is located on a patch of grass in the center of campus, bordered by walkways. The policy was created in 2005, but now critics say limiting protests to that area compromises student rights. SMU graduate and State Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford says university trustees should be encouraging, not limiting free speech on campus.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, based in Phiadelphia, has overturned several “free speech zones” at other universities around the country. Montigny says if students and faculty wanted to challenge the free speech zone at UMass Dartmouth, he would support it.