The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

An Open Letter to the Bulletin Board Committee

Posted by iusbvision on February 18, 2007

The new bulletin board policy has several problems that the bulletin board committee needs to address.

First, allowing the administration to take bulletin boards away from all clubs and then dole them out per their discretion can be seen as viewpoint discrimination. It is a violation of freedom of speech to take away the bulletin boards of clubs that already have them and give them out as the director sees fit. 

If the director takes away all bulletin boards, then to be fair, if one club receives a board from the director, then all clubs should be given a board from the director.  If one viewpoint is going be given a board by the director, thereby being endorsed by the university, then all viewpoints must be given a board.

Requiring approval for postings by a single person hinders the abilities of clubs to  market their activities.

The problem with this is the turn around time the Office of Student Life requires. It is well documented that requests sent to the office of student life require excessive time to be addressed. If a club has to submit a request and wait for the director to review it and then wait for a response, clubs will not be able to market impromptu events. The current procedure of making flyers and getting them stamped and immediately being able to market the event is much more efficient and club friendly.  This new policy is restrictive and hinders the clubs ability to invite non-members to their events.

Giving the Director of Student Life the ability to withhold approval of club’s postings if he deems them “potentially offensive” violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  It was designed to protect potentially offensive speech. This also violates the purpose of a university. Campuses are supposed to be a medium for the free exchange of ideas. All speech is potentially offensive to someone. When Campus Bible Fellowship posts a gospel message proclaiming the teachings of Jesus Christ, it can be offensive. When the GSA advertises a drag show, it can be offensive. When the biology department promotes evolution, it can be offensive.  A multitude of other student clubs are by definition offensive to a portion of the student body, i.e. College Republicans, College Democrats, Students for Common Sense, etc. 

By giving the director authority to decide whose views can be shown on campus, it creates an environment for viewpoint discrimination.

The committee needs to address the absence of reimbursement of funds to clubs who paid for their bulletin boards. There are clubs on campus that needed to purchase a bulletin board in order to market their events. This policy confiscates their boards and only allows them to petition the Office of Student Life for the board that they paid for. This is theft!

If there is a problem with not having enough boards for clubs, then those clubs can either purchase a board or wait their turn. If there is to be a new policy, it must address these concerns.

Jarrod Brigham

12 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Bulletin Board Committee”

  1. Jarrod Brigham said

    Is CBF the only club that has a problem with this policy?

  2. Jason said

    I think they need to have the same policy but make clubs register their boards every years and if you don’t you lose your board. Then the next person on a waitlist list gets it. What is wrong with adding something like this to the current policy. It was working fine.

  3. Angry Bear said

    Here we go again, right wingers complaining about freedom of speech and religious persecution when they cant even agree on when the birth of Jesus Christ was. What a joke.

    Angry Bear

  4. Craig Chamberlin said

    Here we go again, an individual foaming at the mouth looking for reasons to put down others for their beliefs or convictions. Read the article Angry Bear, it pertains to more than just CBF.

    Craigy Bear

  5. Rachel Custer said

    Craigy Bear,

    I love the new name. It made me laugh. By the way, Angry Bear, where exactly did you get right wingers and Jesus Christ from this article? It appears your comment is more based on your admitted anger and less on your understanding of the issue. It pertains to every club, not just CBF.

  6. Angry Bear said

    Then why is no other organization on campus making such a big deal about it other than you bible thumpers.

    Oh, craig, reall mature

  7. Rachel Custer said

    Sweet! That is honestly the first time I have ever been referred to as a Bible-thumper. Hilarious.

  8. Andrew Filmer said

    “Angry Bear”:

    To my knowledge there are members of the Gay Straight Alliance who are on the same page as the Christian Bible Fellowship in this matter, though it is as yet unknown to me the formal actions that the GSA will take.

  9. Rachel Custer said

    An issue that can bring together the GSA and the CBF is certainly an issue that needs to be looked at!

  10. Rashida Vindic said

    Yeah there are many clubs upset about this, you just have to get up from the weblog and talk to people on campus AngryBear.

  11. Chuck Norton said

    The administration has been quietly saying that this policy is not going to happen.

    The law on this issue is clear. If the university subsidizes any student speech than it must subsidize it all with an even as a hand that is practical/possible, without regard to viewpoint or content or who it may offend, and may only restrict time, place, and manner of speech in the least restrictive means possible…with the burden of proof being upon the university.

    Exceptions allowed by the court on campus are:

    true threats

    obscenity/indecency

    the direct incitement of immediate violence

    class assignments (if you are asked to do a book report it has to be about the book

    threats against the president

    advocating the violent overthrow of the government

    hecklers veto (if you try to disrupt someone else’s speech they can and should stop you)

    speech that is so disruptive that it prevents the university from achieving its mission as an educational institution.

  12. Test said

    Hello

    G’night

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