January 15, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 58  

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NEWS

Political posters policy putrid?

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

The University Students’ Council is reviewing the poster policy guidelines after conflicting interpretations of the current policy flared up between two student groups on campus, the Israeli Action Committee and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights.

“[The USC’s Board of Directors] is currently in the works of redrafting the policy; hopefully, we’ll have the first draft ready by next week,” said USC VP-campus issues Adrienne Kennedy, adding the goal is to set parameters for what is acceptable content on posters.

While Kennedy clarified that discussions were still very general, she said the rules remain unchanged: “Posters are still subject to the current policy, which [says] that posters can’t incite hate. As of right now, [political posters] are OK.”

Kennedy added that political posters have been allowed in the past and will still be allowed until the new policy is drafted. “I’ve had very few complaints, so I’m not overly concerned, because they haven’t created too much of a stir.”

But SPHR campaign director Randa Mouammar said her organization “had some difficulties” in trying to get their posters up. “There are some people who’ve told us we’re not allowed to have posters that don’t refer to specific events. But when we talked to the USC, we found out this was not the case.”

Mouammar mentioned posters SPHR has posted this year, including one depicting a child throwing a rock at a tank, and another which read “the wall must fall.”

IAC President Mat Abramsky said he was happy the existing policy allowed political messages. “This gives us an opportunity to send our important, beneficial message to campus, and for students to respond,” he explained.

“We realized other groups had put up posters with political statements, and the USC told us to go ahead,” Abramsky said, speaking of posters calling on students to “support democracy [and] support Israel,” which have sprung up on campus this week.

He denied the pro-Israel posters were put up as retaliation to the SPHR campaign: “We were under the impression we couldn’t [put up the posters] — if we had known the policy was out of date, we’d have had posters up sooner.”

Kennedy said the few complaints she has received have not been about the appropriateness of the posters, but rather about the content itself. “People that have complained have simply disagreed with the messages that are on the posters.”

 

 

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