Tag Archives: Southern Methodist University

University backs down, will allow 9/11 memorial as planned

This is a victory: Southern Methodist University (SMU) has backed down from a decision to shift its annual 9/11 memorial to a remote place on campus so that it might not offend some students.

[In its original decision] the campus administration cited a new “lawn display” policy which, it claimed, tries to balance “the right of all members of the SMU community to express their opinions” and the right to “avoid messages that are triggering, harmful, or harassing.”

A bipartisan coalition of students blasted the policy, including the SMU College Democrats whose co-vice president said “If expression is banned from a part of this campus, that is detrimental to the education of the students.” Fox News reports SMU donors, alumni and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined the criticism, as well.

The school changed its mind late Wednesday. “I thank the students from across campus who came together in the spirit of mutual respect and civil discourse to achieve this outcome,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in a prepared statement. “Throughout these discussions, students have expressed their commitment to freedom of expression – a value the University shares.”

Conservatives on campus expressed guarded caution, noting that though the university has backed down here, it has also not yet revised its new more restrictive speech policies.

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University decides political displays must be hidden to avoid offending anyone

The heckler’s veto wins: Southern Methodist University has ruled that all political displays must be moved to a less prominent location to avoid upsetting anyone.

They have initiated this policy by telling a memorial to 9/11 that it must be moved.

Nearly 3,000 flags have been placed on Southern Methodist University’s Dallas Hall Lawn every year since 2010, but the group responsible for the display, Young Americans for Freedom, was recently told it must be moved. University officials told Grant Wolf, who leads SMU’s Young Americans chapter, that the display can be placed only on Morrison-McGinnis Park, a less-prominent campus location informally known as MoMac Park.

In a policy posted in July, SMU stated: “The University respects the right of all members of the SMU community to express their opinions. The University also respects the right of all members of the community to avoid messages that are triggering, harmful or harassing. It is the policy of the University to protect the exercise of these rights.”

The tragedy here is that this is being done at a university, demonstrating once again the bankrupt state of intellectualism. You can’t have free speech if you insist that no one can be offended by it.

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