Rep. Houchin’s Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024 advances through the Education and Workforce Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Education and Workforce Committee passed the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act last week. Congresswoman Erin Houchin’s Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024 was included in this legislation and is poised to impact promoting free speech and ensuring viewpoint neutrality in institutions of higher education.

Erin Houchin

The Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024 addresses the erosion of First Amendment rights students face nationwide, providing essential protections for academic freedom and expression. Endorsed by leading advocacy organizations Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), this effort underscores the importance of defending the constitutional freedoms of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation.

Key provisions of the Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024 include:

  1. Faculty Sponsors: Ensuring alternative options for recognition to guarantee all student groups equal opportunities.
  2. Distribution of Student Fees: Mandating transparency in funding distribution to eliminate ideological bias.
  3. Security Fees: Mandating transparency in security fee structures to prevent discrimination based on ideological viewpoints.
  4. Protections for Campus Speakers: Ensuring the safety of campus speakers and disclosing protection policies.

“I am incredibly proud to see this important legislation advance through committee,” stated Congresswoman Erin Houchin. “It is a crucial step towards protecting students’ First Amendment rights on college campuses.”

With the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act now heading to the House floor for consideration, Congress can uphold the fundamental principles of free speech and academic freedom.

“As lawmakers, it is our duty to defend the constitutional rights of students and empower them to engage in open dialogue and debate without fear of censorship or reprisal,” said Congresswoman Houchin. “I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation.”