Skip to comments.Clemson group protests use of free-speech areas
Posted on 11/20/2006 9:44:14 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
CLEMSON - A group of students is challenging Clemson University's use of free-speech areas, saying they infringe on the students' civil rights.
Clemson Conservatives were censured by the university in connection with an Oct. 30 protest held outside the areas.
The group held a protest Friday to get signatures for a petition opposing the university's policies.
Clemson officials said they are working on revisions to the policy and hope to have them ready by Jan. 1 for review by students, faculty and staff.
"No public university should have the right to restrict, limit, or abridge this fundamental right," said Andrew Davis, a senior and chairman of the Clemson Conservatives.
The original protest was held at a Clemson Gay Straight Alliance rally, which was not at one of two free-speech areas mentioned in the university's policy.
The Clemson Conservatives did not get approval from campus police to protest at that location on Oct. 30, said George Smith, university union director.
The free-speech areas provide the university with a way to be aware of events happening on campus so student safety is protected, Smith said Friday.
"By having free-speech areas, we're in no way trying to censor free thought or expression of ideas," he said.
Davis said his group chose to protest where it did because the organization's leaders think the university's policy is unconstitutional.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group based in Philadelphia, has asked Clemson officials to respond by Nov. 27 to the foundation's letter of concern about the university's free-speech policies.
"Constitutionally protected speech is permitted at the university," said Gail DiSabatino, the university vice president for student affairs. DiSabatino said the university is planning to reply to the foundation's letter.
Clemson Conservatives leader Davis has been in the spotlight before as editor of the Tiger Town Observer, a free monthly publication that receives no money from the university.
The newspaper gave away two guns - one an assault rifle - to bring attention to the Second Amendment right to bear arms and to raise money for the paper and other charitable causes.
Welcome to the Academic World, where once free speech, open discourse, and diversity of opinion, was the hallmark of such a place. Now, the Orwellian Gestapo of Political Correctness, stifles free and open discussion, forcing all opinion in a direction that is acceptable to the rulers of the institution.
They do this same thing everywhere from the Masters to political conventions- I've never felt compfortable with setting up an area far from "the action" and saying you can only speak freely there.
"I've never felt compfortable with setting up an area far from "the action" and saying you can only speak freely there."
Confine, then erase.
Giving away guns? I don't get it...
"Hey, you guys can't say that here, this is the Free Speech Area."
Ya know, you just can't make this crap up.
"The free-speech areas provide the university with a way to be aware of events happening on campus so student safety is protected, Smith said Friday."
Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly... neither of these is a "right" on college campi for conservatives.... all in the name of safety doncha know!
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