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NC State Student Government Wants to Make ‘Hate Speech’ Punishable

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Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images
ALANA MASTRANGELO

North Carolina State University’s student government held a town hall last week to discuss how they can create a better “racial climate” and a “safe learning environment” on campus. At the meeting, members of the Diversity Outreach Department called for amending the Student Code of Conduct to include “repercussions for hate speech.”

Members of the Student Government’s Diversity Outreach Department at NC held a “Racial Climate Town Hall” last week to discuss the different ways in which they can “facilitate a safe learning environment,” according to the NC State’s student newspaper, Technician.

In the meeting, members of NC State’s student government proposed three ways in which the school can improve “the racial climate on campus,” which were to amend the Student Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics, mandate cultural competency training, and restructure the school’s Bias Incident Response Team.

The amendment to the Student Code of Conduct seeks to make “hate speech” and “other acts of bigotry” punishable, making students and faculty accountable for their words,” a flagrant violation to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, especially considering NC State is a publicly funded university.

In order to create this community, the Diversity Outreach Department wants to amend the Student Code of Conduct and include specific language that does not allow for hate speech. In addition, they want to incorporate repercussions for hate speech and for other acts of bigotry.

For example, a student will get suspended from the university if they are issued three warnings for underage drinking. The department said their plans were to implement similar repercussions if a student shows inappropriate and or hateful behavior.

As for another one of the three proposals, the “cultural competency training” aims to make it mandatory for all first-year students to complete an online diversity training before arriving at the university in the fall.

Additionally, members of student government seek to add an in-class “intermediate level” for the spring semester, which would add diversity training to existing classes.

Moreover, there would also be a “mature level” of the diversity training, in which students would be “required to complete a seminar on being an inclusive leader.”

The third proposal aimed at restructuring the school’s “Bias Incident Response Team,” would be to make the resource “more visible,” as students at the town hall expressed their concerns over the supposed fact that many students are not aware that they can report “an incident of hate speech or bigotry occurs on campus.”

According to NC State’s student newspaper, the topics discussed during last week’s town hall meeting will be “relayed to development resources for further planning.” Additionally, there was no apparent information or clarification on what the members of student government define as “hate speech.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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