Sunday, June 24, 2007

FIRE Sends Second Letter Demanding that UCSD Stop Curtailing Free Speech and Academic Freedom

Many of you are probably aware that right before the end of Spring quarter, the UCSD administration tried to change their policies on "Speech, Advocacy and Distribution of Literature."

Among the proposed changes are:

-that any demonstrations of 10 or more people will require a permit
-that they must be 25 feet from the doors of any administration buildings
-that amplified sound can only occur between 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm.
-that UCSD employees, TA's and faculty, must not express their political views on campus.

The LZC strongly feels that the university's attempt to push this amendment at the end of the quarter was a response to the rallies of the last few weeks where TAs, students and faculty have all come out to rally in support of the LZC's demands.

Luckily, students and faculty mobilized in response to this. A group of about 30 concerned people met with outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs Prof. Joseph Watson and convinced him to postpone the passing of this amendment to Fall Quarter pending further discussion. This small victory further proves the need for and effectiveness of campus manifestations.

This week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent Chancellor Fox an impressive letter criticizing the proposed changes. By citing previous case law regarding attempts to regulate free speech on campuses, FIRE convincingly argued that UCSD's proposal is most likely unconstitutional and therefore illegal. In the letter, FIRE also further rebuked the UCSD administration for cracking down on free speech and academic freedom, first with the firing and intimidation of DOC TAs and lecturers, and now with this.

Click HERE to download FIRE's letter (this link will redirect you to a media hosting website. Once you get to it, click on the 'download' link to obtain a PDF copy of the letter).

We would like to make it very clear that the LZC resolutely opposes the passing this or any other amendment that limits the exercise of free speech and academic freedom on this or any other campus.

We ask the University to do the right thing and protect what is most fundamental for the functioning of any university, the freedom to pursue truth wherever it may lead us.