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Committee to determine speakers during UW-L Free Speech Week

Drew Kelly

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UW-La Crosse campus

A new committee has been formed in order to coordinate speakers for Free Speech Week next school year on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.

The controversy follows last year’s appearance by former porn star turned sex educator Nina Hartley that is leading to some changes. Hartley spoke to about 70 students back in November of 2018 for about 90 minutes.

“Last year we celebrated Free Speech Week and I took the lead on that,” UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow said. “After that, people asked if we could have the process more inclusive of staff, and I said absolutely.”

Gow has asked for representatives from the faculty senate, student senate, academic staff counsel and university staff counsel, as well as from office.

As far as being fair about giving equal time to both sides of an issue, that might be fixed, as well.

“I have heard people say, ‘Couldn’t we have a panel during free speech week to hear more perspectives?’” Gow said. “I think that would be very helpful.”

Gow was reprimanded by UW System President Ray Cross and was not approved for a raise.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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