A Board of Governors committee began drafting a policy that would allow the expulsion of students who repeatedly disrupt freedom of speech or expression on campus.
The policy — similar to a resolution passed by the University of Wisconsin's Board of Regents — was called for by a N.C. General Assembly bill ratified in June.
The bill aims to "restore and preserve free speech" by having the University system create a uniform process for punishing any student, staff or faculty member who "substantially disrupts the functioning of the constituent institution or substantially interferes with the protected free expression rights of others, including protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in and listen to expressive activity when the expressive activity has been scheduled pursuant to this policy or is located in a nonpublic forum."
The University of Wisconsin's policy allows the university to suspend students after two incidents of disruption. A third offense would lead to expulsion.
The bill comes after protests and violence at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Virginia.
The Subcommittee on Free Expression Policy within the Board of Governors Committee on University Governance met Wednesday to discuss the drafted policy.
The first draft asserts that any student or employee is "subject to disciplinary action ranging from counseling, warnings, suspensions and dismissals or expulsions" if they "engage in misconduct."
Board of Governors member William Webb, a former magistrate judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said a first offense resulting in a written warning was too lenient.
"That’s just not how things worked in my world when I was growing up,” Webb said. “You didn’t get a slap on the wrist for something as egregious to me as the predicate of the punishment.”