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Bill would prevent Ga. college guest speakers from interruptions

A bill requesting more be done to prevent people and students from interrupting guest speakers on Georgia college campuses passed in the Senate Monday afternoon/Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- A bill requesting more be done to prevent people and students from interrupting guest speakers on Georgia college campuses passed in the Senate Monday afternoon.

That bill is Senate Bill 339. It highlights the importance of diversity on college campuses and encourages debate to learn and grow.

It asks universities to consider doing more to prevent protests that "materially and substantially interfere with the ability of others to engage in and listen to previously scheduled or reserved activities on campus."

Gennady Rudkevich, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia College in Milledgeville, says it's a national problem officials are looking to address.

There have been many instances on college campuses where students and people from outside the campus shout and make it difficult for speakers to get their point across.

Rudkevich says legislative council has raised concern with this potential law. They're not sure if the General Assembly can legally make college universities have this requirement.

This goes back to students being able able to voice their opinions without fear of being heckled or shot down because of certain viewpoints.

Rudkevich says both sides -- speaker and protesters -- can make the argument that they're not allowed to voice their opinion.

He added that -- when it comes to this bill -- the problem is that public colleges are considered an extension of the government. If public colleges were to limit speech, this is the same as government limiting speech.


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