LANSING — Today, the House Oversight Committee debated two bills that seek to implement a new system that would restrict public colleges and universities from implementing local policies to protect students on campus. The Michigan Community College Association and the Michigan Association of State Universities, organizations representing every public community college and university in the state, testified against House Bills 4435 and 4436 during the committee hearing. In response, state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township), a member of the House Oversight Committee, issued the following statement:

“All of Michigan’s colleges — both in policy and in practice — already respect and protect the rights of all to engage in free speech, but they do so with the simultaneous obligation to guarantee the safety and security of those who attend their institutions. This legislation would tie the hands of college officials by creating a one-size-fits-all approach at the expense of student safety. Our Constitution already protects free speech on and off college campuses. These bills are unnecessary and negligent as they not only seek to fix a system that is not broken, they invite hate speech and potential violence onto our college campuses.”