Free Speech Is Dead At NAU

By Elisha Dorfsmith

“Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

–Bill Of Rights

The First Amendment states “Free speech in a designated time, place and manner.”

–Kristine Koehler (Office of Student Life at NAU)

Freedom of expression has been attacked and whittled away to the point where free speech is all but nonexistent at our public universities and schools. Free speech zones and designated speech areas are now commonplace as the powers that be try to systematically crush unapproved and spontaneous expression.  Those in charge hide behind “policy” but in reality they are afraid to let you exercise your rights because they know that freedom and liberty threatens their ability to control you. It’s all about control.

I was recently contacted by a friend of mine at Northern Arizona University who is dealing with this issue firsthand. She gave me permission to reprint her blog in full:

NAU Student Life Against 9/11 Commemoration

By Beth Baumann

The following event took place yesterday – Friday, September 9, 2011:

In order to commemerate 9/11, two individuals and myself handed out American flags (with pins that read “9/11 Never Forget” attached to the flags). We started out our small event outside on the pedway (just outside Starbucks). It started raining and thunderstorming so we decided to move inside the union. We took the small table we had and set up against a wall. All of the booths in the union were taken, with the exception of the booth near Denny’s and the Info Desk (that sees little to no foot traffic).

The three of us handed out flags and saw an amazing response from students. They were more than happy to take the flags in rememborance of 9/11. At one point, a girl who works at the info desk came and asked us if we had scheduled a booth with Student Life. One of the other individuals explained that NAU is a public university and is paid for by taxpayers, therefore we’re allowed to hand out flags, ect. The girl went to get her boss.

Another lady came out and told us we had three options – to go outside, to leave or to be scheduled another day. We explained to her that 9/11 is on Sunday and therefore we couldn’t schedule another date and time. We wanted to reach ALL students while they were on campus. We also explained to her that this is our First Amendment right. When asked if she knew what the First Amendment stated, she said “You’re allowed to express free speech at a particular time, place and manner.” WRONG!

We had another lady who came out to tell us our same options, only before she did this, she TOOK a flag and a bumper sticker! When she realized we weren’t going to leave, she had ANOTHER person to come and try to kick us out.

Here’s my problem with the whole thing – I don’t mind scheduling a booth with Student Life. I find it ludicris that STUDENTS (who PAY the university) are put on the back-burner to NON-students who pay to use a booth. The same two guys are always at the SAME booth EVERY day! Why can’t they be put in a booth down the hall? Why do THEY get first priority? Is it because they PAY to use the booth? Is it because they book out the SAME booth EVERY SINGLE DAY for the school year?! Not ONCE have I EVER seen anyone else in that booth. Not once.

Now the three of us have a hearing against us. Student Life is claiming we broke the Student Code of Conduct. Here is part of the letter we received:

“Failure to comply with the directions of university officials or agents, including law enforcement or security offices, acting in good faith of their duties.

Interfering with University Activities, interfering with or disrupting university or university-sponsored activities, including but not limited to classroom related activities, studying, teaching, research, intellectual or creative endeavor, administration, service or provision of communication, computing, or emergency services.”

Also, because the three of us are in NAU Conservatives, they threatened to disban our group and prevent us from holding events on campus.

A large group of students saw some of the altercations. They expressed to us their concern, saying things like “I can’t believe they want you guys to leave. We need things like this! It’s for 9/11!” The support we saw was overwhelming.

We have the entirety of the conversations on video. Once they’re uploaded on CampusReform.org, we will have them posted on Facebook.

The main administrators harassing us were Deb Harris, Kristine Koehler, and Amanda Loveless, as you will see in the video. The staff member in charge of the misconduct proceedings next week is Art Farmer, also listed.

If you find what happened outrageous, feel free to contact NAU Student Life at (928) 523-5181

 

Video of the incident.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

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  1. Bill Pilgrim
    September 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Meh. You got to reserve a space. People can’t just set up and do what they want, regardless if it is flags, bibles, or chickens.

    • September 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Why not?

      • Bill Pilgrim
        September 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        Because it would be crazy and chaotic. I have seen ridiculous displays of “free speech” (usually religious) that were protected by NAU employees. But, yes, you have to set it up ahead of time and these people knew that. This is a set up to engender “persecution” of conservatives. We can’t just have groups of people setting up, shouting, confronting one another, etc.

    • Rev. Morgana A. Campbell, NAU alum, but proud American first
      September 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      One of the problems with “reserving a space” is that in fact it is often unavailable as the students mentioned. Additionally, it is not widely known that the booths must be reserved. To my knowledge there is very little room for spontaneity and with young ones, this is often the need. I, myself encountered Ms. Harris enforcing the “rule” when attempting to collect signatures for a petition. Often, it is not the rule but the manner in which it is enforced that causes students to act up and “get in trouble”. I simply feel that if Ms. Harris cannot find a gentle tone, then others should be involved to quietly and gently request that students find a compromise when their need to express themselves is felt. I also advocate for challenging rules that are arbitrary and infringe on the rights of others. Granted, I also would admit that I haven’t always wanted to hear the “free speech” of others, but I know that I can choose to move elsewhere or move more quickly if need be.

      • NAU Student
        September 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        They had PLENTY of time to reserve a booth for their event(pretty sure 9/11 is the same time every year) and if they were in a university group then they would know they had to reserve it.

  2. September 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    If they are fighting and disturbing the peace then law enforcement could be called in. These students were peacefully and quietly handing out flags. If this is not a blatant violation of free speech I don’t know what is. I don’t care if it’s conservative, liberal, or anything in between. Free speech should be allowed at public universities. I don’t like the idea of my tax dollars going to institutions that trample people’s rights.

  3. September 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Do you work at NAU Bill? I am getting that impression from your posts.

  4. William
    September 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    The purpose of the first amendment isn’t for you to think that you don’t have to comply with the school government. It is to make sure that Congress doesn’t pass a law that forces NAU to close down booths like yours. NAU has their policies and guidelines and that’s something you should have considered when planning your event but now you know for next year. Thanks to the first amendment you can petition the government for a redress of grievances and this case might qualify if Student Life attempts to punish you for this activity. But as far as I can tell they had every right to stop you. Although, that lady who said it was “free speech at the right place, etc…” sounds like a…smart aleck, to be polite). You might still want to petition the government for a redress of grievances considering their bylaws might be unconstitutional. Anyways, good luck!

  5. Bill Pilgrim
    September 11, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Yes, I work at NAU. Yes, you don’t know what a blatant violation of free speech is. You also don’t know what it isn’t: namely, being able to set up and shout about anything you want. The fact that this was about 9/11 and flags (made in china no doubt) is irrelevant.

  6. Bill Pilgrim
    September 11, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Also, the word is “ludicrous” and not “ludicris”.

    • September 11, 2011 at 6:27 am

      “You got to reserve a space” should read, “You have to reserve a space.”

      If there is one lesson I have learned as a teacher it is “pick your battles.” The administrators should have just “dropped it.”

      • Bill Pilgrim
        September 11, 2011 at 7:21 am

        “Dropping it” is the opposite of administrating.

  7. Bill Pilgrim
    September 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Bill Pilgrim :
    “Dropping it” is the opposite of administrating.

    Er…ummm….administering. Pardon.

    • Jim_AZ
      September 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      OFFICER: Your interpretation of the 1st amendment is correct. You are not violating any law.
      ADMIN: You must do as we say, or we will punish you.
      BILL: You must comply.
      ME: Horse crap.
      There was no danger, though admin lied that there was. The purposed motive was reasonable. More kids were against the other wall, and were not being chased away.
      Therefore, this is merely an attempt at abuse of power–Otherwise known as bullying.
      There were only control freaks freaking.

  8. Tom @ NAU
    September 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

    First, I do work at NAU. This isn’t a free speech issue nor is it a question of control or patriotism–no matter how hard anyone tries to spin it in that direction.

    There are no policies or practices at NAU that prevent students from handing out flags or other materials. There are no policies or practices that prevent anyone from remembering 9/11 and its significance to all of us.

    The employees simply asked that this group comply with the same rules that all other groups do, namely finding a spot that does not block traffic or interfere with students conducting their business. It is unfair of the student to question another’s patriotism because she disagreed with what was being said. It’s also unfair to shove a camera in someone’s face while “discussing” a situation.

    All of this could have been avoided had the group just inquired about getting out of the rain and handing out flags inside the University Union. Perhaps if they had worked together, instead of questioning patriotism, they could have found a mutually beneficial solution.

    Let’s hope this group is as adamant about First Amendment rights when others they disagree with are handing out flags or tracts or whatever.

  9. September 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    There you go again talking about “rules”. These rules are there to control speech. Appendix L of the student handbook says that this kind of speech must have a permit that is approved by the Office of Student Life and a Dean. Again, controlling which expression you approve and don’t approve.

    http://home.nau.edu/studentlife/handbook/appendix_l.asp

    If these students were disturbing the peace, blocking traffic or disrupting studies you would have a point but from the video and the firsthand accounts of the incident I don’t see any of that happening. Monitoring and controlling freedom of speech is what this is all about. Control control control.

  10. Wilma Smith
    September 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    It is a pretty tight area where they were, only 15 ft across or so… glad there wasn’t a fire, that table could have killed our American students.

    • Jessica Bradley
      September 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Right!? That table would only be doing good if it’d keep those american-hating-pro-communism hippies in the fire, seriously! LULZ!

      ❤ ❤ From Arkansas ya'll! (My name is Jessica, in case you was wonderin'!)

  11. September 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Right, lol.

  12. OMG
    September 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Obviously this is a violation of their first amendment rights! I’m only 18 and even I KNOW this is a major issue! Like… OMG it’s totally such a huge violation! I have a lot of concerns now about how the state of New Mexico is handling their citizens, I mean their youth especially! This settles it for me, I’m going make sure to vote and keep these smelly, dread-lock wearing, hippies the hell out of my state too!

    ❤ ❤ From Arkansas ya'll!

    • Jessica Bradley
      September 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      OMG :
      I have a lot of concerns now about how the state of New Mexico is handling their citizens, I mean their youth especially!

      I mean Arizona… pardon.

    • Shannon
      September 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      You are demented, and no wonder…you’re 18 thinking you understand something you obviously have no clue about and you’re also from the Bible belt. I can conclude that you are a brainwashed religious nut who is freakishly conservative because of your parents. And those “smelly, dread-lock wearing hippies”? Wonderful, loving people. Completely opposite of the uptight conservatives throwing 9/11 remembrances down our throats when who could EVER forget that day? I’d choose a smelly hippie over a racist, bigoted, hypocritical, unjust, unloving and completely misinformed conservative ANY DAY.

  13. Hot Dude
    September 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Hey sweet-18er OMG, perhaps we could meet up later. How about outside the library 9:00PM tonight? I will be the guy touching the statue’s toe.

  14. September 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Do you believe any of that shit? I don’t want any more bullshit anytime during the day from anyone… And that includes me.

  15. Lisa Christian
    September 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Everyone would like to have a flag and remember 9/11 I’m sure including the people viewed as patriotic and at least one of which knows all about civil rights. I was impressed that the administration representatives kept their tempers. They only work there, they don’t make the rules. I have been in real free speech situations and deem this pretty lame. Know the rules before you begin always makes life easier.

    • Jessica Bradley
      September 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Let me guess, you work for one of these liberal anti-american, pro-brave new world, places too? We get it, all you want to do is take the power away from the people and horde it into your corporate lobbyist machine structures. But, we the American people will keep our ground thank you. We will prevail with tiger force, proud to be Americans! Keep your laws off my body and out of my house.

      ❤ ❤ From Arkansas, Jessie ;-* ;-*

      • Nat
        September 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

        Jessica, you sound like an idiot. please get off of this message board. you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about if you’re going to say as a supposed conservative for liberals to keep their laws off of your body. now please shut up and go educate yourself a little bit better.

  16. Rev. Morgana A. Campbell, NAU alum, but proud American first
    September 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I have had trouble with Deb Harris over many issues over the years and find her to be a tyrant at most times. Getting trouble with the University is AMERICAN girls and go all the way!!!!! Thomas Paine would call it an act of responsibility, if I understand my American history correctly. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, get the book and shove it in their faces! Love ya!

    • Jessica Bradley
      September 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Rev. Morgana A. Campbell, NAU alum, but proud American first :
      CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, get the book and shove it in their faces! Love ya!

      This is what I’m talking about! London’s never done a lot right, but recently I think they may have figured some things out. Though I don’t think they did it right like you could. Maybe you guys could start a petition and get everyone to sign it like your university’s Board of Trustees – I assume you have one like we do here at UCA?

      ❤ ❤ From Arkansas, Jessie

  17. Erin Steddom
    September 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    The fact is, that
    1) Even the Federal Government requires people to get proper authorization to do demonstrations. You can’t even walk into the White House and hand out flags without a permit!
    2) You were looking for a confrontation, and people controlled themselves fairly well considering you were being childish and rude.
    3) The university has had that exact same policy for years, do your research next time, its your own fault.
    4) Why are you insanely rude to someone who has the power to EXPELL you from college and you hush up when the cop comes (who can only give you a ticket)? Pick your battles more wisely next time!
    5) I hope you do get expelled! Go to Berkley or Brown if you want to cause a scene.
    6) Some of us weren’t in 4th grade on 9/11/2001 and we remember it just fine.

  18. Mark
    September 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I was standing in the Anthropology building on the morning of Sep 11, 2001. It was my senior year at NAU. You both were in 4th or 5th grade and I’m sure have a distorted memory of that day considering your age.

    You do an injustice to all those who lost there lives by picking a fight like this under the guise of “free speach”

    Start by being respectful to everyone even if you disagree with them. You were not only disrespectful to the staff but to the “Hippie” down the hall. I notice you seemed quite a bit nicer to the police officer… Why not afford the same respect to the staff?

    Your attitude was simly shameful.

  19. Beth Baumann
    September 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I want to make something very clear, since I am the author of this post:

    1) I wasn’t there for the entirety of the confrontation. I actually left to meet up with Elisha after Amanda Loveless (the short lady with the bob haircut) came and talked to us.

    2) I am also not the one speaking in the video.

    3) This is MY account of what happened.

    4) Just because a university has had policies for years doesn’t make those policies right or even constitutional for that matter. I wouldn’t have an issue with Student Life saying anything to us if they were consistent with their policies. The problem is, they aren’t. They pick and choose who they reprimand for the same things. The general public is allowed to come on campus, hand out fliers (that promote their religion or ideology), yet they don’t get reprimanded but we do? I’m sorry but that’s not fair and it’s not right.

    5) I’m surprised that no one has an issue with Kristine Koehler’s version of the First Amendment. It’s difficult for NAU to “protect student’s First Amendment rights” (as stated on Student Life’s website), when the faculty who are “enforcing” the First Amendment doesn’t even know what it states.

    6) A key word in your post, Erin, was that SOME of us remember 9/11. I was in 4th grade and I remember it very distinctly. If you believe that those who were young when it occurred shouldn’t be reminded of this horrific attack, you clearly need to think your logic, unless you want future generations to be much more ignorant than we already are.

    7) Elisha – thank you so much for all of your support! I love that you’re so willing to help us in any way possible. I enjoy working with you in the community. You and Cindy have been nothing but good to me and I appreciate it. It’s because of individuals you two that I fight for what I believe in. You’re a prime example of community activists who I admire and enjoy working with. Thank you again! You’re awesome!

    • Ken
      September 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      Beth Baumann :
      4) Just because a university has had policies for years doesn’t make those policies right or even constitutional for that matter. I wouldn’t have an issue with Student Life saying anything to us if they were consistent with their policies. The problem is, they aren’t. They pick and choose who they reprimand for the same things. The general public is allowed to come on campus, hand out fliers (that promote their religion or ideology), yet they don’t get reprimanded but we do? I’m sorry but that’s not fair and it’s not right.
      5) I’m surprised that no one has an issue with Kristine Koehler’s version of the First Amendment. It’s difficult for NAU to “protect student’s First Amendment rights” (as stated on Student Life’s website), when the faculty who are “enforcing” the First Amendment doesn’t even know what it states.
      6) A key word in your post, Erin, was that SOME of us remember 9/11. I was in 4th grade and I remember it very distinctly. If you believe that those who were young when it occurred shouldn’t be reminded of this horrific attack, you clearly need to think your logic, unless you want future generations to be much more ignorant than we already are.
      7) Elisha – thank you so much for all of your support! I love that you’re so willing to help us in any way possible. I enjoy working with you in the community. You and Cindy have been nothing but good to me and I appreciate it. It’s because of individuals you two that I fight for what I believe in. You’re a prime example of community activists who I admire and enjoy working with. Thank you again! You’re awesome!

      Let’s just get into this…

      4) The University’s policies are of extreme importance – particularly in this case. This is because when a student enters the student body of NAU (and many other universities for that matter) they sign a contract. Part of this contract states that the student will in part uphold the code of conduct covered in the student hand book. Generously linked above by Elisha himself is appendix L, and it states: “Procedures Related to the Organization of Individual and Group Events

      I. Prior to sponsoring a rally, demonstration, march or other group event, the organization
      representative must complete the appropriate Permit (which is available in the Office of
      Student Life, Room 105 of the University Union).”

      It is obvious from this video that this student organisation did not uphold their end of the contract in this matter. This liability falls firmly on their [the students] shoulders, after all they entered this contract, put the pen to the paper, and signed it. Thus the lesson for item 4 is: read it before you sign it. Your forefathers did. Yes that is a constitutional point.

      Which brings us to 5), Kristine’s interpretation of the question is indeed suspect. Though it is a brief point, glazed over and primarily as a point of humour. This strikes me as a red herring to the actual issue at hand: is this a first amendment violation? Kristine answered the ambiguously posed question “What does the first amendment state?” Yes this question is open to interpretation both to being answered with a direct quote from the bill of rights or an answer of case-based legislation. The issue, is this a first amendment violation? No…

      Now before you get your hardcore constitutionalist pantaloons in a knot, I fully support saying whatever you want whenever you want. And you better god damned well believe if I want to say something not even your 4 yr old kid is going to deter me from shooting my mouth off in public. However as discussed above, the university/student contract covered in my points on 4) supersede this. I am a man of my word and if I agree to something you can hold me to it. If I sign a piece of paper to that effect as well – then it’s in ink and we have an accord until the end of the contract’s duration. Now I can’t speak for these young kids and their blatant violation of their agreed upon actions, after all many people break their vows, promises, word, etc. constantly, but I’d be ashamed to have had such a grievous oversight on the part of my public business.

      On 6, everyone should remember 9/11 – it’s an extremely important day in American History, it should be remembered, revered, documented, and taught. I was in high school personally and the awe and shock of realising that just a few men could crush so many lives was a severe blow. More astonishingly was the amazing impact the people who lived have had. So much pain and suffering, almost completely overshadowed in my mind by the perseverance and diligence of the families, friends, and even strangers at the time.

      On 7) no need to say anymore ‘cept maybe, vote for Ron! =D

      So summary: Read Before you sign, Power to the People, Vote for Ron, and As-Salāmu `Alaykum!

      Cheers

    • NAU Student
      September 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      I’m pretty sure all the general public you were talking about that hand out flyers on campus stand outside. That was one of their options and they were being very rude to the NAU staff. The Union is crowded enough around Starbucks without people just setting up tables where ever they please.

  20. NAU Alum
    September 13, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Mark, Erin and Ken, I commend you for your well thought out responses. If the student group in mentioned in the post and who provided the video had used half of the thought that you have, this would not have turned into a slandering of 9/11. All the administrators and staff remained calm while dealing with this group of rampaging students. It was the students who were disrespectful; not only to NAU but to the remembrance of 9/11.

  21. September 13, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Can you tell me where in the video you see the students “rampaging”?

  22. September 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

    NAU Alum :

    Mark, Erin and Ken, I commend you for your well thought out responses. If the student group in mentioned in the post and who provided the video had used half of the thought that you have, this would not have turned into a slandering of 9/11. All the administrators and staff remained calm while dealing with this group of rampaging students. It was the students who were disrespectful; not only to NAU but to the remembrance of 9/11.

    Websters New College Dictionary says:

    ram·page (rmpj)
    n.
    A course of violent, frenzied behavior or action.
    intr.v. also (rm-pj) ram·paged, ram·pag·ing, ram·pag·es
    To move about wildly or violently.

    Rampaging students? Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously when you make that claim NAU Alum?

  23. Ken
    September 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

    NAU Alum :
    … while dealing with this group of rampaging students. It was the students who were disrespectful; not only to NAU but to the remembrance of 9/11.

    First and foremost, these students were not rampaging – they were quietly running an event and at least shown in the video. Likely only a few people know what happened before, after, and in between all of the cuts, Beth herself said she wasn’t even there for a large part of this and she is the OP. Describing them as rampaging is irresponsible and juvenile.

    These students are calm and fairly well collected, considering an authority figure is asking them to change the course of their behaviour. But I must agree, using the souls of the deceased as leverage and questioning one’s patriotism is not a viable argument – I love America dearly, I cry during the National Anthem before a baseball game hat in one hand heart in the other. And I’m an anarchist. I have a mohawk, I speak freely in public, and I’ll be damned if someone calls me unpatriotic. And if you knew me in person, you’d hardly be able to make heads or tails of my speech. My tongue is like a bottle of whiskey that’s been aged 27 years – or how people speak after drinking one.

    So I disagree vehemently with most any authority on principle – I agree with self-decision, self-government, this is why I place so much value on contracts – and I read them before I sign them, to be sure what I’m getting myself into.

    These youth are sentimental, emotional, and lacking the knowledge of their end of the bargain. So they’ve reacted by falling fallaciously onto the constitution, wielding it like a small child wields a safety blanket. But the honest fact of the matter is, they don’t need it (and it has far better uses). All they need to do is stand up, chin up, and have a logical discourse, realize their error and graciously accept a gift given to them by moving to another booth – instead of facing a system they signed up for by joining their little group.

    Still though, to describe them as rampaging is asinine and you should consider your words more carefully – else I’ll think you’re an invalid – and I’d hate to see Alum who lack cognitive ability.

  24. Mahalo
    September 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I hope NAU realizes this is extremely bad press. Some may say there is no such thing as bad press but this is the kind of press that makes people want to be sick. Especially when you watch the video – a BLIND student clearly had no issues passing the small table and small group of students. Who really could these students be bothering? I mean geez, at least they weren’t in the doorway just out of the rain blocking the exit (which would actually be against fire codes).

  25. Captain Awesome
    September 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Really, the core flawed premise here is that you have unfettered 1st Amendment rights at public education institutions. You do not. Buildings on university campuses are essentially private property, and you are subject to the rules and will of the owning authority. It is completely within the rights of the University to enforce rules as they see fit. If they should is another question, but you are owed and deserve nothing.

  26. September 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Captain Awesome :

    Really, the core flawed premise here is that you have unfettered 1st Amendment rights at public education institutions. You do not. Buildings on university campuses are essentially private property, and you are subject to the rules and will of the owning authority. It is completely within the rights of the University to enforce rules as they see fit. If they should is another question, but you are owed and deserve nothing.

    Public buildings at a taxpayer funded university are private? NAU supporters are starting to sound desperate.

  27. Ken
    September 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    flagstafflibertyalliance :
    Public buildings at a taxpayer funded university are private? NAU supporters are starting to sound desperate.

    You say “sound desperate,” but the simple fact still remains these students did fail to comply with the processes they agreed to when forming the organisation and joining the student body.

    Elisha I’m sorry to say that nitpicking at other’s weak points (eg. implying that a public institute can not be private, though not directly asserting it) does not actually show as a strength in your argument. It shows that their argument is weak. It shows that you’re passionate perhaps and merely stubborn at worst. It shows you can identify weak arguments – yet none of this changes the fact that these students knowingly (though I doubt they actually read anything) entered an agreement with the university that they would abide by it’s rules, regulations, and follow it’s procedures for the use of space, which are neither strict nor difficult. Then they failed to do so. Now they are facing the consequences as laid out in that agreement – which is not even disciplinary in nature.

    Don’t you think, maybe, just maybe, this has been blown just a little bit out of proportion by Stephanae Freer? It most certainly is not a First Amendment violation, since no one was arrested, no one was cited, no one was harmed, nothing has happened with the exception of people speaking to each other, and nothing will happen outside of the aforementioned non-disciplinary procedures which all parties have agreed to prior.

  28. September 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Simply put, the school policy needs to be changed. I’m not a lawyer and even if I was I probably wouldn’t follow your logic that an arrest or citation is essential to a First Amendment violation. The activity was shut down and to me that is a huge violation of freedom of expression.

    No, I don’t think Stephanee has blown anything out of proportion. This story was picked up by news sources all over the country and even Drudge is featuring the Daily Sun article.

    As a taxpayer, I resent hearing people suggest that taxpayer funded institutions are “essentially private”. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine.

    • Ken
      September 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

      flagstafflibertyalliance :
      Simply put, the school policy needs to be changed. I’m not a lawyer and even if I was I probably wouldn’t follow your logic that an arrest or citation is essential to a First Amendment violation. The activity was shut down and to me that is a huge violation of freedom of expression.

      You’ve somehow managed to reduce one of my premises logical ors by two. I’m not certain if this was an intentional attempt to weaken my argument through forming a straw man premise beside it, or if it is a simple oversight. Either way it means your understanding of my logic is incomplete, perhaps you reading it again? I find writing it down and breaking it into pieces useful… you get something like:

      V -> (A + C + H + E) (O)
      ~A~C~H~E + ~O
      .-. ~V

      The pieces flow more or less as you’d expect (V=Violation, A=Arrest,O=outside event, etc.). For those who may not be familiar with formal logic, this is what is called a Modus Tollens (if you’re interested in researching it). Oh no… is my application of DeMorgan’s Rule is wrong!? Is that form correct? Errr…

      I’m not sure how the number of people covering it matters, since even if no one else saw it or heard of it, it’d have still have happened the way it did. Two or three students failing in their agreed obligation to follow a policy with the university, and the university exercising the effects of that policy as per their agreement with the student.

      And no need to apologise! We all have our pet peeves (one of my big ones is people insisting that the tomato fruit is a vegetable).

      That aside, I believe you are correct in that the policy could benefit from an overhaul. Conveniently I do believe there is a process available for this. If I understand correctly there is an ABOR meeting coming up soon. I hope to see you there.

      السلام عليكم (As-Salāmu `Alaykum)

      • Ken
        September 14, 2011 at 1:17 am

        Sorry to clarify, O=outside event, should be O=some action other than a non-disciplinary action.

        Cheers

  29. September 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Loved this quote from the Daily Caller article:

    “At NAU, hanging around the student union for no reason requires no permit. Handing out American flags while doing so results in having no less than five different government employees tell you to stop.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/13/commemorate-911-on-campus-not-without-a-permit/

  30. Constitutional Citizen of the Free Market
    September 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    You guys remind me of those anti-abortion assholes who shove pictures of aborted fetuses in my face. Go ahead thinking you’re making a difference, because the sad truth is… nobody cares.

    Also the girl in the video sounds like she doesn’t read very much, LMFAO.

  31. Trey
    September 14, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Firstly, I would like to say I am a conservative republican. So I whole-heartedly feel the constitution should be followed at all times. I understand that at first glance we think, “those administrators are so wrong for this!”, but the fact about this situation is the administrators were correct in what they said. Ken is very much so correct about this situation. When you start college, you sign a contract that states you will follow the codes and conducts of the college. Which means, although you have a constitutional right to “freedom of speech”, you signed that right away when you agreed to their rules.

  32. September 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

    First, I want to go on the record saying that I realize rules were broken. But what if the rules themselves violate the Constitution? I see nothing wrong with questioning and fighting ridiculous rules that trample freedom. Especially at public institutions paid for with our tax dollars. We shouldn’t blindly accept rules and never question anything (like many of you seem to be suggesting).

    I also strongly believe in peaceful civil disobedience (and yes, I understand that there are consequences for that kind of activity).

  33. September 14, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Cut all public funding for NAU and I will be more than happy to let them make as many rules against free expression as they want. BUT, as long as they are public and funded with my tax dollars I will defend, support, and encourage all forms of free expression and speech on campus. Free speech should always be encouraged as long as students are not disturbing studies, creating a dangerous situation (blocking hallways) or threatening violence.

  34. Michael
    September 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    WRONG! There was an open booth basically 5 feet away from where you guys were. They asked you nicely to move. Sorry but you guys are overreacting on your “freedom of speech amendment taken away”. Rules are rules you have to abide by them end of story.

  35. September 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

    There are many unjust rules that have been changed through peaceful civil disobedience. And for the record Michael (assuming you are responding to my posts), I just reported the story, I wasn’t there.

  36. A ndy G
    September 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Wow… just listen to all the little Liberals squealing here! Twisting and bending and contorting the Constitution to support their oppression. Funny how those who used to scream loudest for their “rights” are the first to deny those same rights to others now that they are in power. They used to stand tall and fight “the man” not realizing that now they ARE “the man,” And please note that not a single one of these administration oppressors are white males: the favored stereotype of a smothering bureaucracy.

    The NAU administrators (and some of the commenters here) are perfect examples of how every time a liberal looks in the mirror, a little authoritarian looks back.

    My how the mighty have fallen at NAU. Thanks for making the campus a national joke.

  37. unknown
    September 15, 2011 at 11:20 am

    jesus just cooperate and make things easier for everyone, causing a scene isnt going to help your club spread awareness, its just gonna make you look like a psycho

  38. Human Rights matter more.
    September 16, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Let us talk about rights for a minute. Every single human being has human rights.

    Human rights are “basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.”

    Now, are you out there fighting for gay men and women to be allowed marriage rights? No, you’re not. You’re fighting for something so petty as a stupid school rule. Fight for rights that mean something next time.

  1. September 15, 2011 at 9:25 am
  2. September 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

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