Students, faculty react to new MU camping and protest policies

1 year 10 months 5 hours ago Sunday, May 21 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT May 21, 2017 in News
By: Daniel Litwin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - MU is facing defiance over new and revised University of Missouri campus regulations focused on protesting, which go into effect June 1.

MU students created a new hashtag on Twitter, #MutedByMU, to speak out against speech suppression, organizing a "last day of protest" on the day the rules go in to effect.

A Twitter user known as jaRReTT tweeted, "Mizzou will trying anything to silence our voices. The gag is, we're still going to resist #MutedbyMU."

Another user known as Zo tweeted, "If you weren't powerful, they wouldn't try to confine or silence you. #MutedByMU."

One student who participated in the 2015 fall protests says the new policies will not fully stifle protests.

"People are going to make sure that you hear them, so regardless of whatever policy you do to try and stop that, they're going to make sure that you're going to hear them," said Teanna Bass, a sophomore at MU.

One of the rules prohibits camping on university grounds, which was a notable part of the 2015 protests. For Bass, the camping demonstration was an important way to get the students' message across.

"We were trying to push this new list of demands, we were trying to push these things that we needed as students, minoritized students and marginalized students on campus," Bass said.

However, rules preventing camping are not new.

"The university system's collected rules have prohibited overnight sleeping, other than in places designed for sleeping like dormitories, literally for decades," said Ben Trachtenberg, chair of MU's Faculty Council.

The new clarified rule defines camping as "sleeping outdoors between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m." and "establishing or maintaining outdoors, or in or under any structure not designated for human occupancy, at any time during the day or night, a temporary or permanent place for cooking, storing of personal belongings, or sleeping."

"People who are asleep are in danger of being attacked or having other problems. Frankly, in the fall of 2015, I was terrified that something bad would happen to the folks who were sleeping outside," Trachtenberg said.

Bass said she doesn't think much would have changed in 2015 if the rule had been enforced.

"The only that probably would've changed was the visual representation of us trying to get our point across," Bass said. "I'm pretty sure everyone would've still fought for what they believe in."

The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech and the Press crafted the revised rules and regulations over a period of 15 months.

Sandy Davidson, a journalism and law professor at MU, was brought onto the committee to make sure the policies were in line with the First Amendment.

"I was interested in following the lead of the U.S. Supreme Court. That's always the bottom line," Davidson said.

She said the policies needed to be aligned with the First Amendment.

"We did have to consider things such as safety and the use of facilities to which they've been dedicated. So, it's a balancing," Davidson said.

When suppressing freedom of expression, the important thing to look at is the intent of said suppression, she said.

"When you get into the notion of camping, are there valid reasons for wanting to restrict camping? The answer is yes. There's safety reasons, there's maybe hygiene reasons," Davidson said.

Trachtenberg said, "I have tremendous respect for the protesters who were out during the fall of 2015, and I understand that being outside helped them get their message, but nonetheless, the university has safety concerns."

Davidson said the best way to get a message across is to innovate.

"Protest, follow the rules, but also be creative," Davidson said.

The Missouri Students Association has created a Google form looking for feedback from students on the policies.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - An overnight fire at the ABB facility started in the building's exhaust system, according to a news... More >>
34 minutes ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Farmers in parts of Nebraska and Iowa had precious little time to move themselves from the floodwaters that... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 5:37:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - City leaders will meet Friday to try to find a solution to the recent spike in gun violence... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 5:30:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A Moniteau County Sheriff's Office deputy was taken to a local hospital Thursday night after a passenger... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 10:06:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Candidates in the Columbia mayoral race met Thursday night in the only event being called a 'debate' between... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 8:54:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Lorenzo Moreno was partners with Vincent Valentino at the successful Sarsapilla Speakeasy, until his disappearance two weeks ago.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:43:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug designed to specifically treat postpartum depression. The... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:21:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools is being recognized for its work in improving the mental health of its students and... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:15:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities have rescued several people stranded by flooding in northwest Missouri as the swollen Missouri River... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday in response to widespread flooding along the Missouri... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:05:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - While the controversial Grain Belt Express moved one step forward this week, critics and supporters say tough battles... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 2:18:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS – A search has begun for a new chancellor at University of Missouri-St. Louis. Current chancellor Tom... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 2:12:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A judge set a $100,000 cash-only bond for Quatavia Givens, the woman at the center of the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake in the summer... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental activists plan to make their voices heard at a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:26:00 AM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Brian Treece and Chris Kelly answered public questions regarding a variety of issues facing the Columbia community. When... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:23:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Blair Oaks School District held a meeting Thursday night on a potential new building that is... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People who live near coal ash ponds share stories about health problems and contaminated water Thursday at... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
10am 43°
11am 48°
12pm 52°
1pm 54°