Ohio University bans indoor protests with new speech policy

FILE PHOTO: Courtesy of Ohio Student Union

ATHENS, OH AP) — Ohio University’s new “freedom of expression” policy has been met with opposition by students.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio University announced the new speech policy Sept. 8.

Under the policy, protests and rallies are not permitted inside of university buildings. The shift in policy comes after 70 protesters participating in a campus sit-in to oppose President Donald Trump’s travel ban were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. University officials also cited violent rallies in Charlottesville in their decision.

Some students and faculty members fear the policy is too broad. Administrators say the university’s policy is a way to foster the exchange of ideas while keeping campus safe.

University officials last week extended a comment period by two weeks, to Oct. 20, noting it’s an issue many “care about deeply.”

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