SUPPORT HB 1190: Ensure Freedom of Speech on Campus

House Bill 1190 protects freedom of speech on college campuses by establishing that state educational institutions may not suppress free speech in common areas of campus, and may not discriminate against a religious, political, or ideological student organization’s free expression. House Bill 1190 requires institutions to publish free expression policies to promote objective standards be applied to all student organization activities. It also provides accountability to state universities by requiring them to report any disruption in an organization’s free expression, the nature of any disruption, and any disciplinary action taken towards student organizations to the governor’s office.

As the last few years have shown us, higher education institutions are trending toward limiting conservative organizations full exercise of their freedom of speech rights. Organizations that celebrate left leaning and progressive ideologies are given large platforms on college campuses. These liberal organizations are praised and promoted by higher education officials for their ‘inclusive’ and ‘progressive’ viewpoints.

On the other hand, conservative organizations that promote conservative viewpoints are silenced, and sometimes even disciplined for sharing their conservative, pro-American viewpoints. Liberal higher education officials claim these conservative organizations are comprised of ‘bigots’ and ‘small-minded’ individuals. Higher education institutions use these labels to justify silencing and disciplining student organizations who exhibit conservative ideals.

House Bill 1190 helps address this issue by requiring universities to publish standards and rules regarding freedom of speech for all student organizations. Widely known, universal standards will inform student organizations on appropriate forms of speech and help them identify unfair treatment. Additionally, House Bill 1190 requires universities to report any disruption in an organization’s free expression. This transparency creates accountability for the universities. This legislation protects all student organizations from discriminatory practices regardless of religion, political affiliation, or ideological beliefs.

House Bill 1190 preserves freedom of speech on college campuses. We must ensure freedom of speech and our core American ideals are not suppressed. Protecting Hoosier college students from liberal indoctrination starts by preserving and protecting one of our most basic rights, freedom of speech. House Bill 1190 holds higher education institutions accountable for preserving or infringing on a student organization’s freedom of speech.