A new resolution introduced to the Student Government Association involving the university’s Internet usage policy went up for first read at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The resolution, authored by Director of Public Relations Laura Harper, is to support the amending of university Internet usage policies that have been deemed a violation of free speech by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
FIRE issued WKU a red light rating, as the handbook has at least one policy violating the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Computing Policy 12-13 caused the red light rating. A specific portion of the policy, relating to email usage, states that “transmitting statements, language, images or other materials that are reasonably likely to be perceived as offensive or disparaging of others based on race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious or political beliefs” violates email policy, which is “a privilege, not a right.”
This is viewed as a violation of free speech by the organization, as it restricts language, statements, etc., being sent via email.
SGA is making efforts to take a stance in support of amending the policy to make it more specific as to what the university wishes to limit instead of having a broad-reaching policy.
The resolution states that “freedom of speech is a constitutional right of students and should be respected by Western Kentucky University and not limited by their policies anymore than necessary.”
A copy of the resolution was included in the agenda at the Tuesday meeting for senators to read. It will then pass to second read and eventually come to a vote in senate.
A new Student Affairs committee head was also sworn in during the meeting. After having a vacant seat for several weeks, Nolan Miles was appointed to the chair.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but we’re looking forward to that,” said SGA President Keyana Boka.