The debate over UW-Eau Claire's policy prohibiting resident assistants from conducting religious, political or sales-related activities in their residencies reached the state attorney general this week.
UW System President Kevin Reilly enlisted the legal counsel of Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager in a Monday letter, asking for her to assess the legality of Eau Claire's ban on such activities.
A group of legislators from around the state also requested Lautenschlager's opinion in a Wednesday letter.
The System's decision to seek Lautenschlager's input came after Reilly and the Board of Regents recognized the legal complexity of the debate, Doug Bradley, System director of communications, said.
"Once we saw that this was really a conundrum … we asked the attorney general for her advice on this," Bradley said.
Lautenschlager's opinion, Reilly wrote in the letter, will help guide Eau Claire and other universities across the System in establishing a written policy.
"Given the apparent similarity between (Eau Claire's) policy and some policies elsewhere in the UW System … I am requesting your written opinion as to whether the university's practice is consistent with First Amendment standards," Reilly wrote...