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Chancellor's Blog: Free speech on a public university campus

| Chancellor James Schmidt

The U.S. presidential election is one week from today. And today, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is part of the national focus on that election as the Republican Party nominees for president and vice president will be appearing in Zorn Arena.

The visit to campus by Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence is the latest in a long and rich history of this university making our venues available to candidates for the highest offices in our land, regardless of their party, to speak to the citizens of Eau Claire and Wisconsin.

This election year is also, according to many observers, one of the most contentious in memory. Passions are running high on both sides. This has led to strong opinions being expressed by candidates and their supporters. 

I have said many times that there is no idea too controversial to be discussed on our campus. I have great confidence that our community and our campus — as it has done for 100 years — will be respectful of our tradition as a public university to allow the expression of diverse viewpoints, whether we agree or disagree with them.

As with any major event on campus, we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our campus community and visitors. We are working with regional and Wisconsin law enforcement and the Secret Service with that end in mind.

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