Here’s the deal: As you may be aware this Voice poster sparked controversy and (thankfully) a discourse on campus after one witness saw Jennifer Maynard, the Executive Assistant to the Office of The President, tear one down. However the discourse didn’t begin until a student who had an issue with the milk carton poster came to The Voice, voicing her concern. Unlike tearing down the flyers in an act of censorship, by coming to the Voice the student opened a dialogue.
But student’s flyers are still being torn down. Saturday June 23rd a flyer was posted on campus for a student meeting. By the following Monday morning this flyer was no longer hanging. It was found in the president’s office on interim provost, Ellen Hall’s desk. Jennifer Maynard refused to answer any questions about the flyer. We were told we would have to wait until Ellen returned from her meetings. By the end of the day the flyer was returned and we were told it was taken down because it was thought the event had already taken place (despite the number of old flyers on campus.)
On the following Wednesday, I hung flyers for the student meeting on every scheduled classroom, stair case, bathroom, and student entrance door. As I caught the elevator to the second floor, I was flagged down by Raymond Simonelli the Facilities Manager. In a stern and agitated voice he told me to tell the guy upstairs that if he put flyers on the wooden doors, Ray would in fact tear them down. Holding a stack of flyers and a tape dispenser, I informed Ray that I had hung the flyers. Apparently putting tape put on wooden doors by students is frowned upon on campus. Two signs, one listing the rooms on each floor and another asking people to stay home if they are sick, have been taped to wooden doors on campus since I enrolled in Winter Quarter 2011. Ray politely showed me how I could hang flyers from signs near the wooden doors.
I retraced my footsteps moving the flyers from the wooden doors to the signs near the doors, carefully avoiding covering the braille on the signs. Later, while running an errand, Ray stopped me again and politely informed me that I must only use one piece of tape on flyers put on glass. I had no idea we had such an extensive (oral—because I couldn’t find it in writing) tape policy on campus. Again, I retraced my footsteps. There had been a flyer on each of the four student entrance doors (with the mandated one piece of tape) but by Thursday only two remained.
The rest of the flyers stayed up until Saturday June 30th, and we had our first student meeting. We decided to continuously meet on Saturdays. Instead of printing more flyers I thought I would use a marker to alter the date to every Saturday. But on by Monday morning, nearly every flyer was gone. I found one, taped to a wooden door. New flyers were printed and hung and within an hour taken down. More flyers were printed and hung.
Why are our flyers being targeted? As the adorable kitten in the post below points out academic freedom is a necessary component of accreditation. Not to mention it is extremely important to students. You know the people going into thousands of dollars of debt to attend this institution with a rich history of advancing social, economic, and environmental change by fomenting free thinking and challenging the status quo. That legacy is why I chose this institution. I’d hate to think I was sold a false bill of goods.