Update: The Daily Emerald’s Emma Henderson reports on student opposition to the restrictions, which the administration has given the Orwellian title of “The Time, Place, Manner and Protection of Speech Policy”.
2/12/2017: The UO administration wants to make peaceful protests a crime. They have proposed a new policy that will restrict the “time, place, and manner” of free speech at UO. Among the many restrictions our administration wants:
4. Use of University Campus for Speech Activities. … The interior spaces of University buildings are, generally, exclusively reserved for University business activities and therefore are not open for Speech Activities unless properly reserved in advance through the Facilities Scheduling Policy. …
And I thought one of the University’s primary business activities was free speech, or as Thomas Jefferson said, “for here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” Another:
6.4 While the streets and sidewalks of the campus are generally open to Speech Activities by University Entities, the Vice President for Finance and Administration may designate portions of a street and the time of day during which a street is not available for speech activities by any Person or group, in order to meet traffic, emergency access, and public transit needs. Any such restriction shall be content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral.
So they want to be able to ban marches down 13th Street by, say, South Eugene High School students protesting the Trump election. And UO students will need permission to put up protest banners:
9.4 University student organizations and ASUO may place banners or signs only in those locations authorized by University Scheduling and Event Services.
And, for those who disobey:
(1) Any person violating these rules is subject to:
(a) Institutional disciplinary proceedings, if a student or employee; and
(b) An order to leave the immediate premises or property owned or controlled by the University by a person in charge of University property.
(2) Persons failing to comply with an order by a person in charge to leave or to remain off the immediate premises or property owned or controlled by the University may be subject to citation or arrest for criminal trespass.
That’s right, the UO General Counsel’s office wants to have the right to arrest UO students who engage in peaceful protests such as last spring’s Divest UO sit-in.
Our administration is not alone in proposing these sorts of restrictions, and this Sunday the New York Times editorial page took aim at them all:
While their proponents say the bills and initiatives are needed to protect public safety and ensure civility, these efforts would crush the right of free protest at a time when key American principles and institutions are under attack.