Representative Kiley to Introduce Resolution Calling for End to Illegal Encampments on Campus

May 07, 2024
Education

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, Representative Kiley (R-CA), a Member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, will be introducing a resolution related to the spread of encampments at universities across the country.

“Perhaps the only thing more disgraceful than illegal pro-Hamas encampments is the way some universities have catered to them. This Resolution calls on universities to uphold the law and enforce their rules, while protecting freedom of speech to the fullest extent,” said Rep. Kiley.

See text of the resolution below:

A Resolution to End Campus Encampments

  1. Findings
    a. Whereas
    i. In recent weeks, tent encampments have spread at universities across the country.
    ii. These encampments are illegal and in violation of university policies. They have become rife with antisemitic threats and acts of violence, harassment, and other disruptive behavior.
    iii. Some universities have responded by even-handedly enforcing the law and clearing the encampments. They have emphasized the right of students to protest and express their opinions in innumerable ways, while making it clear that acts in violation of the law or university rules will not be tolerated.
    iv. Other universities have decided to ignore the law and ignore their own policies, allowing encampments and other illegal activity associated with them to grow unchecked for weeks.
    v. Encampments have made demands of universities such as divesting from companies tied to Israel, cutting ties with Hillel campus programs, and ending study abroad programs to Israel.
    vi. Some of these universities have even negotiated with those in the encampments and agreed to their demands around changes in university policy, such as at Northwestern University, UC Riverside, Brown, Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Minnesota.
    vii. Still others have cancelled classes, moved to online meetings, or cancelled graduation ceremonies such as at Columbia, UCLA, UC-San Diego, and Emory University
    viii. These encampments and the criminal behavior connected to them, such as threats or acts of violence, blocking or occupying buildings, genuine harassment, or other disruptive behavior – are not protected by the First Amendment. To the contrary, they disrupt the operation of the university and the academic freedom and speech rights of other students.
    ix. Free speech on campus means universities should encourage free and open expression in speech, writing, listening, challenging, and learning, while never shielding students from ideas the University disagrees with or limiting expression on the basis of content.
    x. It does not mean universities should tolerate the promotion of violence, the destruction of property, the obstruction of students’ freedom of movement, harassment, vandalism, or other unlawful acts.

      2. Resolved
      a. The House finds canceling classes and commencement in response to unlawful encampments is unacceptable and unfair to the majority of students.
      b. The House condemns any negotiation where a university changes its policy in response to the demands of those engaged in unlawful activity on campus.
      c. The House condemns any concessions made by Universities based on demands from those participating in unlawful encampments, including ending study abroad programs to Israel, cutting ties with Hillel, and divesting from companies associated with Israel.
      d. The House calls on universities across the country to work with local law enforcement to immediately clear tent encampments from university property and restore safe learning environments on their campuses, and further resolves that non-compliant students, faculty, or staff be subject to appropriate consequences.

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