Home Campus This is what’s happening with the university’s freedom of expression policy

This is what’s happening with the university’s freedom of expression policy

5 min read
Student Senate 2017-2018

At its Wednesday night meeting, Senate President Landen Lama talked the advisory council created to review public opinion on the university’s controversial freedom of expression policy.

Ohio University Student Senate President Landen Lama told senators he met with President Duane Nellis on Wednesday to discuss the Freedom of Expression policy.

Lama said an advisory council had been created to review public comments regarding the current interim policy. Lama said the council, chaired by the Dean of the Scripps College of Communication Scott Titsworth, includes membership from all five campus senates and Ohio U Police Chief Andrew Powers.

The council recommends a new policy be rewritten by the president’s office, Lama said. If approved by an executive staff policy committee, it will be sent to all constituency groups, including campus senates, who will give public comment. Finally, the president’s office will decide on a final policy for Ohio U. Lama said that there was no timeline for the revision process.

“From my understanding, once the feedback is taken, this will be the official policy of OU,” Lama said.

“But what I can tell you right now from the membership of the committee, the chair’s school is actively opposed to it — the Scripps College released a letter in opposition to it — faculty senate is in opposition, so there are like-minded people on this committee [in opposition of the interim policy].”

Nellis and Lama also discussed Athens’ depenalization of marijuana through TACO. Lama said that the university does not currently have an official response.

Lama also read and signed a letter from the student body president of the University of Virginia in solidarity of the 3-month anniversary of white supremacy marches in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We will not let this tragedy and the circumstances that created it fade into the past, and we cannot remove ourselves from it,” the letter read.

Lama said that over 50 student body presidents of large universities across the nation have signed the letter.

“I think it is important that we continue to have these conversations as a senate,” Lama said.

Lama also announced that he discussed bringing a bike-share program to Ohio U with Nellis and has a meeting scheduled for next week to discuss it further. According to Lama, four bike companies are interested in continuing a conversation.

“I’d like to tentatively say, hopefully more answers come spring,” Lama said.

“It’s looking good.”

Student Senate also passed resolution 1718-77, allowing committees to submit senate legislation, and resolution 1718-80, changing the title of chairpersons within the Senate Appropriation Committee to vice commissioners.

Senate Treasurer Zach Woods said senate had raised and sent $1,540 in hurricane relief funding for Puerto Rico.

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