MADISON – Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville) released the weekly radio address on behalf of Wisconsin Legislative Republicans.
Hi, I’m State Representative Dave Murphy. I’m the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities.
I participated in a forum at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh to discuss the results of a free speech survey that was conducted among UW students statewide.
Having the UW improve at protecting free speech is not my goal. My goal, is for the UW to be the best at protecting free speech. I want the university to be an example, a beacon, for the entire country. When people think about free speech, I want them to think about the University of Wisconsin.
The First Amendment protects our rights to free speech from interference by the government, but I believe our Founding Fathers also saw the Bill of Rights as a guide to what they thought our society should look like overall.
We can all agree a safe environment for students should include physical safety, but we cannot be safe intellectually. A university is a place where students go to have their viewpoints and opinions challenged so they learn to think critically. It’s a teaching institution and must serve not
only students; but also taxpayers, tuition payers, and Wisconsin employers.
The survey shows that students don’t feel there’s a diversity of ideas on campus. Diversity of ideas needs to be as important as diversity of demographics. In the end, a free speech policy at a university should not just be a piece of paper, it should be a practice. It needs to be lived.
I would like to thank the UW System for conducting a free speech survey and for being willing to look at what students truly believe.