Free speech is quarantined in the zone of intolerance at Dixie State University, Utah
Free speech is under attack at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. A group called Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) says it has been banned from mocking Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. The YAL produced three flyers, one for each leader.
The Washington Free Beacon notes:
The flyers were not approved because the school policy does not permit students to “disparage” or “mock individuals.”
You can’t mock leaders? And one of them’s dead!
William Jergins, the president of YAL, told the Washington Free Beacon the move represented a “blanket denial of the expression of our beliefs in the way that we felt would be most readily understood and accepted by our fellow students”
What with this being America, Jergins and two of his colleagues aren’t just carrying on regardless. They’re suing:
The lawsuit claims Dixie State has “adopted and enforced excessive restrictions on the rights of students organizations, and limited student speech in open areas of the campus.”
Their case is being supported by free speech champions FIRE, whose President and CEO Greg Lukianoff states:
“One has to wonder how Dixie State students can engage in serious political discussions—or any discussion at all—when they are forced to follow the university’s ridiculous policies, which go so far as to forbid any poster in a residence hall that students or administrators can claim creates an ‘uncomfortable’ environment’…
“Dixie State unconstitutionally restricts access to open areas on campus for expressive activities by requiring that students request permission to speak several weeks in advance. And once approved, plaintiffs were relegated to a previously unknown “free speech zone” that comprises only around 0.1 percent of Dixie State University’s 100-acre campus,” states the lawsuit.
A free speech zone? We thought that was called America. But not any more it isn’t.
The college has rules on flyers:
-39 CAMPUS ADVERTISING AND POSTING OF LITERATURE
39.2 All advertising literature must have a stamp of “approved advertising” to be considered legal for campus posting. This stamp is in the office of the vice president of student services.
39.4 Individuals posting “non-approved” literature may be cited for violation of Utah state law and fined for littering and/or violations listed above.
And if that’s not sad enough:
* All advertising materials should be computer generated or professionally produced.
• Materials must be in good taste (FCC guidelines), adhere to campus policy, look professional, and
not detract from the campus appearance. Dixie State University reserves the right to remove any
posted materials that do not meet our posting guideline
* [students display material] “may not single out any individual group(s) or entities in a derogatory manner.”
You need a permit for free speech on campus – the place where students should be challenging ideas. Self-expression needs approval. Your message should be “professionally” produced. Never mind the message, cop a load of that logo.
This would be remarkably pathetic if it were not typical of the West’s war on freedom of expression…