University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone sent out an email this week, titled, ‘Free Speech This Election Year’. As many of you know, UWM bought the naming rights to the old arena a few years ago and it is known as the UWM Panther Arena. And as most of you know, the president held one of his signature rallies there Tuesday night.
So the chancellor felt it necessary to delineate where the university stands on politics and free speech and who actually runs the arena!
The January 14 rally for President Trump and the July 13-16 Democratic National Convention are major events being held downtown and each will provoke lively discussion. Both events will be held, at least in part, at the UWM Panther Arena. Neither is being hosted by UW-Milwaukee. As of 2014, UWM acquired naming rights for the venue. However, it is not a UWM owned or controlled facility. Outside of men’s basketball games and Commencement ceremonies, we do not schedule or sponsor the multitude of events that take place at the arena, from hockey games to concerts and various speakers.
Meanwhile, our own campus has historically been the site of several presidential candidate visits and will again in the future. We anticipate that this election year will bring requests from student and other groups to host various candidates and perspectives on our campus.
UWM does not endorse or promote any political candidates or speakers, even when invited by campus groups or student organizations. As a public university, we do not restrict the use of our facilities based on the content of any individual or entity’s message. Such viewpoint neutrality is consistent with our commitment to free speech and academic freedom and is legally required of us as a public entity.
So off we go into 2020!!