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Student Activists Told to Remove Table from Penn State 'Free Speech Zone'

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posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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Fantastic OP and thanks for showing both sides of the issue!

Rules are there for organization and so that everyone has equal opportunity to voice their opinions and state their message. These kids clearly violated the rules. Take the table down and follow the rules.

I don't support "free speech zones" in the general public, but the school is being pretty generous in having so many places where students can make their political case. And if you agree to the rules, you need to follow them. I don't really see the issue.

In fact, it could be that they put the table up to purposely disobey the rules and cause a ruckus about "free speech zones" on campus.
edit on 9/18/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: OptimusCrime
You need to let them know for a matter of organization and so they know what is happening on their campus, but yes, they generally will shut you down.

Also it is not private property, it is public property that has a restricted use of services with all else being public.

edit on 9/18/2014 by AllSourceIntel because: formatting



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:27 AM
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originally posted by: AtcGod

originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: AtcGod

I do not buy it.

Universities have been long associated with political debate, many of them actually having debating teams of their own, and most of them offer courses in "political science" (two words which belong in one sentence, about as much as Ghandi and Hitler belong at the same dinner table in the afterlife), political history, and the like.

It is not at all unusual, or for that matter contextually inappropriate therefore, that a university occasionally become a forum for discourse about political activism, and the meaning and origin of a document as important as the constitution of the United States of America, arguably one of the most important documents, of its kind to be found anywhere on the planet.

It is a mark of staggering ignorance for any person to announce blithely, that they do not want to hear about politics, or that they do not give a crap about it. Everything which affects a persons life in a nation, every single thing, comes down to politics. From the cost of running an automobile, to the failures of any system designed to allow a person access to medical treatment. There is no facet of living in a democracy, which cannot be said to comprise an element which is acted upon by the direction of political discourse in a country.

Universities have a duty to their students, and indeed to the country in which they happen to be at the time, to promote in their students a desire to utilise their rights, and understand what they are.

Whether everyone enjoys the process is largely irrelevant.



Policies are put into place at any number of organizations for the purpose of good order and discipline. What a private organization decides are the rules are that organizations business.

It is everyone's right to decide what they allow themselves to be exposed to and what they are interested in. That is a freedom as well i should think. So I dont see how choosing to ignore politics, for whatever reason, would be in any way a display of ignorance.

Universities have a duty to deliver quality education that the student has paid for. To ensure they do that, there must be rules in place to facilitate an environment that allows for that to take place unimpeded.


A very good point. They policies Penn State has in place primarily serve that means such as not allowing bullhorning, annoying lights, obstructions, etc. I do think civility and order can take shape without a "free speech zone" though, especially if other, logical and legitimate rules and policies are respected as you noted.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
Fantastic OP and thanks for showing both sides of the issue!

Rules are there for organization and so that everyone has equal opportunity to voice their opinions and state their message. These kids clearly violated the rules. Take the table down and follow the rules.

I don't support "free speech zones" in the general public, but the school is being pretty generous in having so many places where students can make their political case. And if you agree to the rules, you need to follow them. I don't really see the issue.

In fact, it could be that they put the table up to purposely disobey the rules and cause a ruckus about "free speech zones" on campus.


Good point about them possibly setting up the table on purpose. That possibility never crossed my mind.
I second this post! Thanks to all for thier inputs and I hope no one takes my posts as anything other than healthy debate.

Much respect to all of you!



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic
Yes, as AtcGod noted, good point about them possibly putting up the table on purpose. I would say if so, it was in vein as I closed my op "If they were to defy policy, they ought to have been well outside of "the zone" to begin with." which would have been a direct defiance of the actual issue vice a round about, non legitimate defiance that raised a side(tracking) issue.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: AtcGod
I actually take great offence to your posts and if I was a Mod would ban you, "no free speech for you! Next!" No truly, no offence taken and debate well understood.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

I was under the impression that the property was owned/ran by Penn State and only designated as a public free speech zone. They have the right to end that zone or police it how they please and can limit use and area.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: OptimusCrime
It is one of those inbetweens, like government owned public property. It is a public university administered by Penn State administration. As you state, they do have the right to administer these things as they please, however, they have to legally abide by a "time, place, and manner" guideline. Simply put, having a specific area for a protest might be legal and justified, preventing someone from handing out pamphlets of information might not. I'm no legal scholar or lawyer, but I think if these kids did without the table and simply walked around campus handing out the pocket constitution, their pamphlet, and maybe a flyer with a quick little speech to those they passed by, they would not have had this incident nor need to be restricted to a zone. Policy might prevent that, but the question is should it? Or are those policies better geared toward a scheduled protest, rally, or an actual speech(es), etc for the purposes of being organized and not a public disturbance of the peace ?
Access to Public Property

Your right to access public property is strongest when the area you wish to access has historically been open to the public for the exercise of speech, public debate, and assembly. These areas are known as public forums and include spaces such as sidewalks, parks, and town squares. You may freely enter and gather information while in these public spaces, but you should do so without disturbing the peace or interfering with those around you. Your right of access does not confer immunity from all liability if your conduct is disruptive or harassing.
*****
Your right to access government-owned property that is only partially open to the public is a bit more limited. If the general public is permitted to access only certain areas or for certain limited purposes, you right to access the property for newsgathering purposes is similarly limited. For example, some parts of a courthouse are open to the general public, but portions of the courtrooms themselves are accessible only by the parties in the litigation and judges' chambers are completely off limits to the public.

However, some public property, even though it is open only for limited purposes, can take on the attributes of a public forum discussed above. A classic example of this type of property is public schools and universities. Although public school and university buildings are not wholly open to the public, some parts of a campus may be considered a public forum. If a school's large open quad is accessed from public sidewalks and streets and freely used by the general public with no apparent objection from the school administration, then the quad may be considered "dedicated" to public use, and therefore more like the traditional public forums of the public park and sidewalk. Additionally, if the school opens certain of its rooms for non-school meetings that are open to the public, those rooms, during those times, will be treated as public forums.

Remember that because public schools are not entirely public forums, school administrators often have the discretion to restrict the entry of outsiders, particularly while the school is in session. Check in with the school administration before entering school grounds or you may be liable for trespass. Additionally, some states laws prohibit people from loitering within a certain distance while school is in session. These "school loitering laws" are mainly aimed at keeping sexual predators and drug dealers away from schoolchildren, but be aware that their language may be broad enough to cover lawful or innocent activity as well.

Free speech on public college campuses overview is a good read on free speech on campus's.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
Free speech limited to certain places, and times, with consequences imposed on violators of the "rules" on such matters, is not free speech at all.


The primary purpose is education. I do not want every Tom, Dick, Harry approaching me with their personal agenda.

Yes, they need to be in designated areas, whatever the message, so I can approach them if I'm interested.

Rules are made for a reason. Don't like the rule? You find a way to change it. You don't blatantly break it in the name of free speech.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

Education is very, very, expensive. I wart to focus on why I'm there.

I personally do not want to be accosted by every Tom, Dick, Harry with an agenda.

OK, great, you support free speech. Do you support every group that has a message they want to shove in your face? I doubt it.

Educational facilities need to keep order for ALL students. There needs to be rules and designated areas for "individualism".

Free Speech does not get a pass for tromping on established rules.

They need to get the rules changed first.





edit on 18-9-2014 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

If you want liberty, anarchocapitalism and constitutionalism, try going to a private university. I'm a mutualist and even I didn't attend public school.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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It's amazing that you can talk about oppression of free speech on a forum designed for alternative or outside viewpoints and most respond with the same dangerous platitudes of mainstream media.

The prevailing attitude from this post is that your desire to be left alone in your closed system of ideology trumps freedom of speech in the one place where the ENTIRE point is to explore yourself intellectually and be exposed to new different ideas. Is this correct?

I guess distractions like political and civil debate are a waste at college now. The kids should be focusing on keeping their heads down while the shackles of debt slavery are imposed on them. Also never bring this issue up because the older generations hate being reminded that their selling out their childrens lives for comfort and convenience. Can we just turn the schools into outright indoctrination camps? I'm tired of the sham.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: Annee
I personally do not want to be accosted by every Tom, Dick, Harry with an agenda.

Most, yes most but not all, people with a message to spread or who stand on a soap box do not accost people, they speak their word and let others choose to listen and approach them.


OK, great, you support free speech. Do you support every group that has a message they want to shove in your face? I doubt it.

I in fact do. I would support IS having a voice here, I support the KKK having a voice, I support a Socialist, Communist, or Nazi voice. They may speak if they choose and wish, and the people may listen or not if they choose or wish. That is the whole entire purpose of a market place of ideas, to allow every voice, idea, and thought of public interest to be heard and debated where the ones society as a whole wishes to adopt will continue to garnish attention, add to that society, and adopted while the ones they want no part of get ignored, take away from society, and drowned out of the larger sphere of influence.


Educational facilities need to keep order for ALL students. There needs to be rules and designated areas for "individualism".

Free Speech does not get a pass for tromping on established rules.

Yes, very true. I do not know if you read the thread in entirety, but I do not, and never did in these posts, dispute those facts. What I did dispute was the student's approach and making an issue out of a table where a legitimate policy exists on that matter. I also disputed "free speech zones" in general, not in this specific sense except for the fact that if the students simply handed out information, they likely would not need to be limited to a "zone" similar to a person attempting to hand you flyer as you walk past that person who is just standing and not accosting you on the side walk - your body language alone will tell them if you want that flyer or not.


They need to get the rules changed first.

Generally yes, in this case, yes. Sometimes, the only way to change a rule or law, what have you, is to defy it. Cough, slavery, cough, underground rail road, cough.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: tavi45
Who are you replying to?
...



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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Doesn't surprise me one bit. Colleges are no longer about furthering education, they're about inculcation.

I don't need 25 filler courses to be intelligent.

I don't need a hip, young professor molding my brain into what they feel is acceptable.

I don't need to be told what is free speech, tolerance, acceptance. What to stand up for, who to alienate.

I furthered my own education, after I was tricked into the $20,000 babysitting service.

As someone who sees politics for what it is, a show with people as props, I didn't need to be told what to believe in.

Quit kidding yourselves, college is debt slavery. A factory where you go in bright, optimistic and come out a drone. S + F

Tired of the ivory tower raining down crap on our heads.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: AllSourceIntel

originally posted by: Annee
I personally do not want to be accosted by every Tom, Dick, Harry with an agenda.

Most, yes most but not all, people with a message to spread or who stand on a soap box do not accost people, they speak their word and let others choose to listen and approach them.



See the scenario without rules.

Some seem to thing rules violate free speech.

NOTE: I read your entire post. I am not debating you. I am only giving my opinion.


edit on 18-9-2014 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Annee
I see no scenario. The accosting and scenario I think you are asking me to see would still exist with rules if it were to exist at all because the type of person you are referring to would not care for nor abide by those rules as you are fully aware of.

The rules that dictate the organized, civil, orderly, and respectable culture the best for what you (and I) desire are not ones put in place by an institution, they are put in place by society through social norms and mores via the market place of ideas.

The rules the institution puts in place are to serve order and organization within finite spaces that have limited capacity to allow the free flow of persons to and fro in addition to not being a burden of peace on everyone's equal opportunity in education at that institution. Both can be met given time, place, and manner. These rules are sufficient on the campus if students want to protest or have a rally toward a general cause. Two or three people merely handing out flyers and pamphlets is quite different. Now, if they were to specifically protest say if a Dean were caught up in some sexual scandal with a student or something, that protest can be outside of the Dean's office all rules be damned. I say this because it is like protesting the G20, what good is it to do so if you are a block or two away where your message is strategically drowned out. My point being, there is context to situation dependent factors to be considered.

Please note my tone is of debate, not argumentative.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 02:20 PM
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Could some one tell me why they are against a table being used? Could it be health and safety issues. Or could it be some tight ar** complaining because they didn't like the group so bringing in petty regulations to abort the message? And there was me thinking that universities are a place of learning. That if you don't know means learning ALL information from ALL perspectives so the student has a broad educational experience. But I digress when most US universities are funded by big corporations therefore teachers only push the paid for agenda.



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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originally posted by: crayzeed
And there was me thinking that universities are a place of learning.


What does one learn from having a table? How does having a table promote learning?



posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic
By the same token, how does a table inhibit ANY learning?



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