Va. Community Colleges Relax Speech Restrictions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Virginia Community College System has relaxed its policy governing student speech and demonstrations on campus.

Spokesman Jeff Kraus says the executive committee of the system's governing board adopted a new policy Tuesday. It takes effect immediately.

The changes were made after a Thomas Nelson Community College student filed a lawsuit claiming his free-speech rights were violated when he was barred from preaching on campus. The lawsuit is still pending. Also, a new law taking effect July 1 limits public colleges' authority to restrict student speech.

Kraus says the new policy essentially eliminates so-called free-speech zones, which confined student expression to designated areas. It also says colleges can require one-day notice to reserve campus facilities for a demonstration. The old policy required four days' notice.


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