Student condemns the administration’s proposed free speech TPM restrictions

Jennifer Gomez (Psychology), has an excellent op-ed in the RG today. Read it all, here’s an excerpt:

… Over the years, I have witnessed and participated in protests and marches, and I have watched the UO change. I have watched victims of sexual violence publicly find their voices. I have watched undergrads, graduate students, staff and faculty come together to publicly shed light on a glossed-over truth: the UO had two campus buildings named after white supremacists.

From the campus community’s grit, passion, perseverance and fights for social justice, the UO has changed. In doing so, it makes me proud to be a Duck.

Now, living out of state, I was shocked when I came across this new proposed policy ( ): “Time, Place, and Manner of Free Speech.” In rationalizing the need for this policy, President Michael Schill commends the UO as a leader in “the protection of free expression,” citing the UO policy, “Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech” ( ).

President Schill goes on to describe members of the UO as a community — even a family — that can learn from each other through honest and respectful discussion. I agree with freedom of expression; I also agree with respect of others. What I cannot seem to understand is how freedom of expression and respect translate into dictation of excessive limitations to free speech.

Limitations that would bar protests inside or in front of Johnson Hall: the site of the highest level administrators on campus; and unsurprisingly, the site of many protests as well. …

Read the draft of the policy yourself. My interpretation is that if it were in place now it would have allowed – and perhaps even required – the administration to arrest the South Eugene High School students who marched down 13th street in front of Johnson Hall to protest Trump’s election:

(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- and viewpoint-neutral basis. 



(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.

(3)            The Vice President of Finance and Administration, Vice President for Student Life, the Dean of Students, and their designees, have the authority of “persons in charge” of University property for purposes of these rules.

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3 Responses to Student condemns the administration’s proposed free speech TPM restrictions

  1. Anonymous says:

    Free-ish speech.

  2. New Year Cat says:

    I don’t believe any of us left our right to free speech and freedom of assembly at the door when we chose to study or work at UO. Just because speech is “inconvenient” for you does not mean you get to unilaterally relegate it to some time and place more convenient for you (a mile away, a block away, 11 pm vs 11 am….). Shame on the UO administration.

    • Fishwrapper says:

      Well… You did. Kind of.

      Studying or being employed at UO requires a contract between the institution and its studying and/or working partners. Part of that contract includes, for students, an agreement to cough up a certain number of kilodollars for the privilege; for staff, an agreement to accept a fixed rate of kilodollars for your hard work. Included in the larger agreement are a number of Acceptable Use Policies, and other documents that state how the university expects folks to behave.

      Some of those policies were crafted with input from the affected constituency, some others not so much. Your freedom of speech on campus is severely limitable once you enter that student or employee contract – especially for the latter.

      How much limitation and how strict those guidelines are, or become, is a measure of the institution.

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