A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE: Revised Facility Use Policy still unacceptable

UNCG students should take a good look around campus. As of last Monday, you won't see a free speech zone anywhere on campus. We, as American citizens, are now free to gather anywhere on campus to spread our youthful propaganda. Sort of.

The free speech zones no longer exist. Demonstrators may gather anywhere on campus as long as they aren't blocking a sidewalk or street, and no gathering within 30 feet of a building. No demonstrations can occur next to dorms at night either. Midnight streaking is definitely out.

The previous requirement of giving 48 hours of notice to UNCG Police has been trimmed to 12 hours for those affiliated with UNCG, but 48 hours is still the rule for those without affiliation.

I think we can agree that notifying UNCG Police of demonstrations is a good thing. In 2004 when the College Republicans held an "affirmative action bake sale," arguments between Republicans and the people protesting their event teetered on the line of physical violence. Were police officers not present, the scene would have exploded into a riot - something that has happened with affirmative action bake sales at other schools.

But the rule is flawed. It doesn't provide an option for protests that happen without 12 hours notice. In 2003 there were protest groups all over America ready to gather as soon as we attacked Iraq. There should be an alternative for protests that, by their nature, can't conform to the 12 hour rule. Members of the committee that revised the policy have said that this topic was discussed, why is there not some sort of allowance?

Another problem is that police supervision is not necessary for someone simply gathering signatures on a petition, yet the policy requires it. One or two people with clipboards does not constitute an assembly. More

This was intended for last week's edition, but I cut it so I could fit in that guest column responding to my Muslim questions piece.


Post a Comment

<< Home