The Fascist UCSD Associated Students Senate

Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief
Contributions by California Review Editorial Board

On the evening of February 24, 2010, I attended the UCSD Associated Students Senate official meeting. While there, the Associated Students attempted to stifle the First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press for me and other media organizations at the University of California, San Diego.

The footage is below, with only minor editing. (I list and explain the few cuts I made.)

***

The first two videos consist of BSU members and their supporters airing their grievances to the AS.

The third video consists of the Saltman Quarterly’s abdication of free speech and more airing of grievances by members of the BSU and allied organizations.

Then Peter (a California Review staffer) gets up to speak in opposition of the AS’s unconstitutional actions. I follow with a brief statement, and defer the rest of my time to Kris Gregorian, Editor of the Koala.

Kris Gregorian continues his antics at the AS meeting. But what do you expect, it’s the Koala.

At 5:21 in this video, I walk over to Peter (my staffer) to call him away. Nine seconds later, a girl associated with MEChA and the BSU hits me and my camera and then freaks out on me. I was at least an arm’s length away from her, and she leans under Peter to hit me.

I then get furious that they are trying to violate my freedom of the press AGAIN! and ask the AS if I am allowed to film at the event, to which they say yes…

And then, at 7:03, they change their mind and claim I actually don’t have the right to film them. They also threaten to call security to take me away.

I turn off my camera, and thirty seconds later I am told by another student that the AS is wrong. I then turn my camera back on and tell the AS that I am filming again and that they are wrong.

I tell them they can either call security or show me where in the law I am prohibited from filming the meeting. They call a recess for 5 minutes in response to try to find a way to stop me from filming.

This is the break during the forum. I discuss this issue with multiple people. You hear me ranting about the three violations of my First Amendment rights by individuals associated with the BSU, MSU, and AS, as well as me being angry about being hit by the girl.

A girl also approaches Peter to talk. I cut out his number and last name, and I also cut out bits near the end of the video where I hear the phone number from other students.

After AS resumes their proceedings, they agree that I have the right to film the public meeting.

An AS council member attempts to use the girl’s assault on me as an example of a disruption, but this is dismissed.

They start discussion of the media funding freeze.

The AS considers extending the media funding freeze. The Sixth College Senator, John Condello, does his best to argue on behalf of respecting the First Amendment and the media organizations. Our hat goes out to him, and I know who my new favorite AS Council member is. When all this is over I want to give him an award for standing up to tyranny.

AS VP of Finance & Resources Peter Benesch then argues why “feeling safe” is more important than the First Amendment.

This video opens with AS admitting that they are targeting the Koala by redoing the media guidelines and the media freeze, but cannot admit that because of legal reasons. AS President Utsav Gupta knows he can’t say that on camera, so he just gives a thumbs up.

They vote on the media organization freeze. Only four members of the Associated Students could be heard to vote in support of free speech.

SRTV then made its appeal to be reinstated.

SRTV continues its attempt to be reinstated. SRTV (temporarily TRTV) manager Thomas Dadourian makes his plea to get back to filming.

Campus Wide Senator Bryant Pena questions the SRTV manager. AS President Gupta voices his opposition.

At 7:30, SRTV manager Thomas Dadourian even asks AS to fire him so that SRTV can continue running.

18 seconds later, Campus Wide Senator Desiree Prevo speaks up: “As a student of color on this campus that has been continuously marginalized, your voice is only silent temporarily. My voice is silent permanently on this campus. So I’m just asking you this, please consider more time. Your voice is silenced temporarily. I’m silenced permanently because of the color of my skin. So consider, just a little more time. That’s all I’m asking.”

A person would think we were still living in Jim Crow Alabama from statements like this. The media and the BSU have blown this issue tremendously out of proportion, and now free speech is in chains at UCSD.

In the final video, despite all of SRTV manager Thomas Dadourian’s arguments, the AS remains opposed to the reinstatement of SRTV.

To show your support for free speech, please come to the forum on the fourth floor of Price Center East at 8 pm today (Thursday 2/25).

UPDATE: UTSAV ADMITS HIS INTENTION IS CENSORSHIP!!! (9:15 am, 2/25/10)
Admitting it

UPDATE 2: WE RECEIVED COPIES OF THE EMAILS THAT UC BERKELEY AND THE UCSD GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION SENT OUT REGARDING THE CONTROVERSY (12:45pm, 2/25/10)


The proposed graduate student petition claims that opponents of the actions taken by the Administration “will continue to hide behind legal rights, such as free speech, to justify actions and rhetoric that prolongs a long history of racism in which black culture and heritage is treated as their private property.” They later add that members of the BSU “face physical threats from supremacist groups and individuals on campus.” What supremacist groups? What threats? This is an exceptional claim that must be backed with evidence. Until I see it, all I have to go on is my personal, documented (see above) experience of being assaulted by someone supporting the BSU.

Also, in response to a commenter’s question, we would like to clarify that the Chairwoman of the College Republicans, Inez Feltscher, was indeed quoted out of context in this Los Angeles Times article. When asked about intellectual diversity at UCSD, she remarked that there are individual classes that only present an “extreme leftist” viewpoint. That’s very, very far from claiming UCSD as a whole is an “extreme leftist” school, something she doesn’t believe.

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35 comments

  1. I’ll tell you one thing though. You, the students of UCSD elect a Senate Council to handle specifically matters of how student activity fees can be used. They are within their right to decide which student orgs and media outlets can be supported by AS and which ones can’t. This is much like how we have a State Assembly that makes budgetary decisions for us that the Governor ultimately signs into effect. Although, it is not the State’s job to subsidize media outlets. It is also not technically the University’s obligation to fund every student news source. When you are being financially supported by the University to produce media, you are subject to those types of conditions much like how you are subject to a Terms of Service agreement when you sign up for things like Facebook, Stickam and such.
    That being said, I also didn’t like the intimidation against you while you were videotaping the meeting. Animosity will keep people from understanding each other. Nobody should bully anyone into a way of thinking, it breeds more resentment which is how epic battles like these come to be in the first place. People feel like they’re being forced to do this and that.

  2. LibertyOverTyranny · ·

    “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

  3. Sundiata Keita · ·

    “As a student of color on this campus that has been continuously marginalized, your voice is only silent temporarily. My voice is silent permanently on this campus. So I’m just asking you this, please consider more time. Your voice is silenced temporarily. I’m silenced permanently because of the color of my skin. So consider, just a little more time. That’s all I’m asking.”

    Where on earth is this coming from? She’s a senator in the Associated Students. How is her voice marginalized in any way, shape, or form? Can the BSU and its allies provide ANY examples of how their speech has actually been marginalized on this campus, much less “permanently” marginalized? I watched all of the first two videos; it appears they are simply repeating talking points that some clueless people are accepting without questioning. Note to them: just because you “feel pain” doesn’t mean that you’re actually being hurt by anyone else or that anyone else is breaking any laws; I can “feel pain” all I want if someone’s beating me in an argument, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep on destroying my argument.

    Also note: it looks like the conservative viewpoint is being far more marginalized and threatened in this debacle than the BSU and its “allies.” Attempting to not let cameras film, physically assaulting Alec, cutting off students’ constitutional right to free speech…these are concrete actions of peoples’ voices being intimidated. The sheer hypocrisy of this is overwhelming.

  4. South Park Conservative · ·

    Is there any way to let these videos out to other media outlets? These videos are very disturbing, especially the part where the girl physically hit you. Intolerance much?

  5. concerned@ucsd · ·

    I absolutely agree that the line between ‘feeling pain’ and being ‘permanently marginalized’ is a huge leap. Maybe prior to the civil rights movements this would be a valid viewpoint. I’ve watched all of the videos posted and simply cannot believe how offensive and disruptive many supporters of the BSU are. Hurling profanity and insults doesn’t really make me lend sympathy to their cause. It’s a mob mentality that loves the idea of free speech and equal rights up until someone disagrees with their views. Apparently it’s cool for them to marginalize the minority viewpoint in this case. Look at what the Koala guy has to say in the fourth video… it’s classic Koala stuff, and it isn’t even particularly offensive in this case, and yet he is yelled at to ‘get the f*ck out… we don’t want you here’. That clearly comes from someone who promotes free speech and equality, right?

    I feel that many of these supporters have heard leftist ideals spewed from various ethnic or gender departments, studied and glorified certain movement leaders, and are suddenly on a quest to etch their names in the books of history as the next great activist. In this case, generalizations of pain, suffering, and discrimination are being thrown about, and these claims are not substantiated with concrete evidence, but rather even broader claims of inequality and injustice. I believe Peter (from the 3rd video) makes a point of this… and no one can cite any events. At this point, the BSU supporters argument turns into something along the lines of ‘it hasn’t happened YET’. That is ridiculous. The race card cannot and should not be thrown around at every opportunity, just so that an agenda based on entitlement and greed can be mandated. Obviously the inevitable counter response to this is going to be of institutionalized racism, along with white privilege and how I simply can’t understand the concepts of discrimination because I’ve led such a privileged and problem free life. I’m not even going to bother getting into an argument about these topics… it’s been ‘argued’ to death on various facebook groups, and generally devolves into insult hurling and labels of racism.

    I particularly enjoy comparing what speakers of both sides of the argument have to offer and bring to the table. The BSU supporters talk about all the injustice, hate, and fear present on campus (backed up with some swell poetry), while the proponents of free speech cite case laws and precedents supporting their cause. Being disruptive and loud does not validate your agenda. Having precedent in the court of law really helps it though.

  6. Alec I’m pretty sure after that you need a saferoom.

  7. The petty fascism continues….

    ALL ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UCSD
    ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD

    SUBJECT: Student Run Television (SRTV)

    On Thursday night, a deeply offensive and hurtful program was aired on
    Student Run Television (SRTV), a service of the Associated Students.
    The content of this program does not represent the views of the
    Associated Students, and was aired by KoalaTV, the television show put
    on by the student organization The Koala. We condemn the actions of The
    Koala, its program and its content.

    The Koala was not properly authorized to display content on SRTV. We
    are in the process of determining how the program was aired. In the
    meantime, as authorized by the ASUCSD Standing Rules, and in conjunction
    with our Associate Vice President of Student Services, I turned off the
    station to allow for a review of its Charter. We will only open it
    again when we can be sure that such hateful content can never be aired
    again on our student funded TV station.

    Alongside this initiative, I have frozen all student media organization
    funding. The Koala has long since been a controversial publication at
    UC San Diego and is primarily funded by our student fees. I do not
    believe we should continue funding this organization with our fees.

    We must develop effective policies to ensure that our fees do not go to
    the support the hateful speech that targets members of our community. I
    ask that those media organizations that did nothing wrong and are
    unfairly affected to be patient until we can resolve this situation and
    develop new funding bylaws for our Association.

    To this end, I have charged a campus-wide committee to review the
    funding of student media. This committee is open to every member of the
    UC San Diego community – faculty, staff, students, and whoever else
    feels strongly about this issue. The committee shall meet on Thursday,
    at 8:00PM, in the 4th floor Price Center Forum. Feel free to email me
    at aspresident@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.

    The Associated Students stands in solidarity with those affected by
    Thursday night’s program, and we remain committed to being the voice for
    all UC San Diego students.

    Utsav Gupta
    Associated Students President

  8. Yea we posted this as a pdf update to the article. Thanks for posting!!!

  9. LOLOLOL SOMEONE COMPARED THE KOALA TO HITLER. hahahaahhaahahahaahah jesus christ the idiocy of these fucking retards is astounding. I can’t believe my degree will be made even more worthless by twats like these.

  10. I would like to say thank you. Thank you for covering these events. Thank you for supporting free speech. I support you in this as I support the koala, although I fundamentally disagree with both of your publication’s ordinary message. Freedom of the press is the most important thing. My newspaper from back home had a quote in every single paper: “Freedom of the press cannot be limited without being lost” -Thomas Jefferson.

  11. #5… you hit it right on the head, these kids are indoctrinated by radical leftists in the wacko departments of UCSD- queer studies, gender studies, etc. etc. where they are taught that PRIVILEGE is the worst thing ever and that all forms of PRIVILEGE should be torn down.

  12. Update 2 forgot a few things. Allow me a moment to expand upon the triangulation.
    1) The first group is the group that is rightfully insulted by the actions of the Compton Cookout organizers and the Koala’s broadcast. This group has set forth unreasonable demands. They may use legal precedent or raw emotion as tools in the box.
    2) Is the group that seeks for this issue to go away and the status quo upheld. They may hide behind legalese or not for their tools.
    3) Is the undecided and the fearful. Fear of what? What if you agree that the Cookout was tasteless and the Koala idiotic? But you don’t agree with the BSU? The attitude on campus is one of “You are with us or against us.”
    4) The advanced group of 3. They agree that some sort of solution must be made, but without abridging the rights of citizens, without wasting more student fees, and that any result must be fair for everyone.

    Now that we have been given our sides, everyone please pick a number. Afterall, it’s much more simple to point and choose who is the enemy when they organize into groups.

    Alec, thanks for covering and updating the students on this issue.

  13. “…will continue to hide behind legal rights, such as free speech…”

    Dear God. The idiocy is astounding.

  14. Is there any organized resistance being discussed or planned to counter the BSU demands and the AS censorship? Right now, Fox is bullied and cornered, it’s only a matter of time before she and her office buckles and submits to all their demands (including the absolute worst – changes to the admissions policy that would all but destroy any value our degrees will have left). There’s gotta be a bunch of people at UCSD that are against these changes; is there any organized resistance to this insanity?

    Also, does anyone get a feeling someone is playing BSU to push their agenda? They all seem to recite the same exact talking points – they have to have come from somewhere.

  15. Chandragupta Maurya · ·

    The Guardian has a host of updates now, complete with a column by Vernesha Potts, who at least addresses the free speech argument by citing the 1925 Supreme Court case Gitlow v. New York to support her assertion that this isn’t a case of free speech. Problem is, she doesn’t understand that “words that cause danger to the public peace” (I think she’s implying “fighting words”) aren’t defined the way she wants them to be (see: Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942). They have to cause immediate breach of the peace or immediately cause a specific kind of injury, which the FB announcement did not do and I doubt the Koala would be classified as either.

    Other misperceptions of the facts by Potts:
    “My only relief is that the situation has remained relatively civil and no one has been hurt, because in such aggressive atmospheres, violence is often inevitable.”
    Has she seen/heard what happened to the California Review’s editor? That’s violence and it was perpetrated by one of your “allies.”

    “…although it was not on campus, it was hosted by UCSD students for UCSD students, so it reflects directly on the school”
    That’s entirely wrong. The actions of a few students do not reflect on the entire student body, except in crazy world where people are all representatives of their entire race and whatever happens to one affects everyone else of that color.

    “Whiteness is not the problem — our entire capitalistic society is the problem”
    Well that just reveals your Marxist hand right there. I think the vast majority of Americans of all skin colors disagree with you. Glad to see you’ve been paying attention in your Marxist history classes.

    “Please realize that negative media representations produced about minority subjects are patriarchal tools that perpetuate their oppression”
    There was no negative media representation; this was a private party. The media coverage has been mostly, perhaps even disproportionately positive of the minority students on campus.

    “As a black woman, I was appalled, and honestly do not feel entirely safe walking around a campus where people could find it within their capacity to base a party on misogyny and malicious stereotypes.”
    There’s the campus safety argument again. Please provide me any actual examples of a time when people were actually threatened and didn’t just “feel” threatened in some vague.

    “At first, I felt really discouraged because it felt like many people were supporting this ill-intentioned ‘free speech,’”
    Students, tremble in your shoes: people are defending free speech! What will our country do next?

    ***

    Also, there are some gems from the other articles including:
    “You’ve felt racism if you’ve gone down Library Walk and not been handed flyers, if you’ve sat in class and nobody’s sat by you” [Director of Cross-Cultural Center]
    That’s happened to me too. Maybe you should not be so sensitive and see racism in everything that happens to you?

    “This is a white-supremacist, racist, classist, misogynist institution,” [Literature Professor]
    Name calling! How classy. Again, with no examples.

    “We will not allow any discussions of the budget crisis to affect discussions of our demands,” [History Professor]
    Then you’re simply not based in reality. UCSD is furloughing faculty and you want more special funding that benefits students of a very specific skin color?

    ***

    Got a kick out of Utsav Gupta’s position that he can do anything he wants, the law be damned! Glad to see that the ACLU and FIRE are teaming up on this and they’ve got the Constitution on their side. Gupta’s going to regret his intransigence in the future; wish he would realize that he and “his” association can’t do anything they want.

    ***

    I fully agree with D; we have to do something to counter this. Intelligent, constructive online debates can only go so far and the BSU has proven to be a master of media manipulation (the walk-out was pure media theater at its best). Problem is, BSU and its “allies” will do everything they can to disrupt/intimidate anyone who dares oppose them and gathering a large number (100+) of similarly concerned souls might be difficult to pull off since we probably won’t get the Chancellor to let us out in the middle of the day. Suggestions, anyone?

  16. Suggestion: Student group. Get recruiting, establish a position, get faculty to side with it and mobilize.

  17. I’m not in SD anymore, otherwise I would be right with you guys. perhaps get Cato involved to pass out copies of the constitution? I know they do free giveaways.

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”- Barry Goldwater

    we must combat these race hustling, PC thugs at every turn. Anyone want to send emails out to other free speech activists around the country?

  18. “You’ve felt racism if you’ve gone down Library Walk and not been handed flyers, if you’ve sat in class and nobody’s sat by you” [Director of Cross-Cultural Center]

    I’m a white male, slightly older than some on this campus, and a lot of hot young girls passing out flyers often fail to hand me one. Stuck up little bitches… I mean, racists.

  19. Is there any way we can get the media involved in this? The videos of the AS meeting absolutely HAVE to reach a wider audience. Once people see both sides of the story (including the BSU demands coupled with the budget crisis), the public opinion will change.

    In my opinion, the resistance to this insanity should include the following points:

    1. Freedom of speech argument. As much as I despise ACLU, they are correct in their defense of the party organizers and the Koala on First Amendment grounds. It’s a very difficult argument to make considering the climate (ha!) on campus, but it’s the one that HAS to be made. Like someone above quoted, people are bashing the Koala for “hiding behind legal right such as free speech” – this is a scary road we are going down.

    2. Safety argument. It is pretty obvious that the BSU is shamelessly using an illusion of “danger” and “threat” to their well-being to their own benefit, and I am embarrassed of my peers that actually buy this. There has to be a counter-argument made that involves facts and figures (to an extent – these things can’t really be quantified in a credible way). Logically, if minority students feel threatened on campus, how come it did not manifest itself in any kind of petition, program, or demonstration prior to this past few days? Frankly, I am more threatened walking by a militant anti-prop-8 rally with a cross on my neck. Safety goes both ways, and I feel uneasy about several hundreds of people dressed in all black and shouting at the top of their lungs. Bottom line is, there is zero evidence that supports their “safety” argument, and it must be brought to light. The consequence that absolutely terrifies me is that if they succeed in labeling derogatory comments (such as the party or the Koala program) as threatening to their physical/emotional well-being, we will be well underway towards a campus where any criticism of African Americans, BSU and their demands, or even the campus overreaction to these events will be met with harsh consequences under the “don’t shout ‘fire’ in a theater” clause. See the BSU-declared “state of emergency”.

    3. BSU demands. Majority of them are ridiculous, unattainable, or both. That’s fine, but they also use a ton of money, probably millions of dollars (if not tens of millions) in the long run. Where will this money come from? Are we looking at faculty layoffs? Research cuts? Fee hikes? Either of those would be absulutely unacceptable. Diversion of funds would hurt the programs and facilities already in place, which in turn would hurt the larger student body. Therefore, we are looking at appeasing the riled-up minority at the expense of the majority (not to mention ALL students would be hurt by the budget adjustments, including the minorities). A play has to be made on investigation, research, and evaluation of their demands to ensure their consistency with the larger university goals and policies – this would not only derail most of their demands (not all, unfortunately – the spineless Fox already pledged to address some), but also stall them to a point where the tensions have died down and the fire subsided.

    4. Outside support. It has been mentioned here that the BSU actually brought in outside help to the protest. Who is organizing and funding this? I doubt their organizational budget is designed to fund large rallies (outside support, t-shirts, etc.), so the money has to have come from somewhere. Is there any way for the writers of California Review to dig deeper? I have a feeling if there are outside organizations that are funding the unrest under the table (and there must be, since there has not been any announcements or concrete support by race-centered organizations), exposing them would at least somewhat undermine their cause and quiet the tensions to a point where stronger resistance to their unreasonable demands can be organized and deployed.

  20. USC has been mentioned as bussing 400 students in. I’ve heard UCLA mentioned, but the Guardian has officially reported USC bussed in students for the walkout.

    A lot of the rhetoric used by the BSU sounds like a professor I had last quarter. Word for word.

  21. For anyone who’s interested, what I actually said was “extremely leftist” was not the campus as a whole, but about the only viewpoint offered in certain types of classes at UCSD, in a response to a question about intellectual diversity on campus. That was the context for my remarks.

  22. Hey–just wanted to say as an alum, I’m in support of you for still working and covering this entire debacle the media has made this out to be. I checked out the LAT article and actually it so happens the writer is a family friend (went to j school with my dad back in the day.)
    Don’t know if its too late, but Inez, if you want your quote clarified, I could see what I can do…
    Keep up the good work guys! This blog was an excellent idea!

  23. get over it.

  24. Benito Juarez · ·

    I will tell you what I have seen these last few days, I saw people from different backgrounds, my children, my brothers and sisters come together in solidarity, and got the message heard.

    This reminds me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn’t stop to help him. Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.

    You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

    But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

    That’s the question before us. The question is not, “If I stop to help my brother in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help my brother, what will happen to him or her?” That’s the question.

    God bless all my brothers and sister that stood side by side with our brothers and sisters in need, when you saw a wrong you tried to correct it, you may argue the methods but not the reasons. I know God will not discriminate by country of origin, our sex, our orientation, color of our skin, or our religion as men do.

  25. Porfirio Diaz · ·

    Lovely story, Mr. Juarez. But remember your own quotation: “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.” Those who trample on First Amendment rights and seek to benefit themselves above all others are violating the respect that other individuals deserve.

  26. Lovely passage Benito, however, you are nothing but a troll. The same exact text has been left in comment sections of various news articles related to this incident.

    I also find it ironic that you share a first name with a prominent Italian fascist.

  27. old old alum · ·

    of UCSB, not SD

    At any rate, I think Ghegorian’s ‘antix’ were quite effective, at least the penny roles part. Actually he should have left them, surely he can afford $20. And maybe he should have brought a jar of them instead of roles, to facilitate people getting their money.

    A more fundamental issue is this, why are whites an underrepresented minority at UCSD, why is the white population of California under demographic assault, with the government doing nothing to stop it. Because, when we become a 22% minority in the US, like white students are at UCSD, non or our traditions of liberty will survive.

    Conventional, race-blind conservatives won’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.

  28. […] funding should be upheld. Unfortunately, as The California Review’s Alec Weisman has reported in detail and on video, ASUCSD upheld Gupta’s ban as well as […]

  29. Ken Jackson · ·

    I’m having trouble understanding where freedom of speech comes into play here. Can’t the Koala continue publishing w/o funding from UCSD? Maybe there’s some link to funding and free speech, but I’ve never heard of it.

    The Koala should be able to say whatever they like. Of course, no one should be mandated to pay for it. And to the extent that the body that controls the allocation of the budget determines that they’d like to reduce funding to the Koala, this seems perfectly appropriate. Unless of course their reason for doing so is based on some unconstitutional reason. But AFAIK, simply not liking what you say because it offends me, is grounds to not fund. And according to the Supreme Courts recent decisions, funding is also free speech.

    The solution to this is simple. Cut off funding and resources to the Koala, but let them keep the name of the organization. They can continue the newspaper, being as offensive as they like — getting new funding sources if they like, including donations.

  30. Ken, it has to do with the mandatory nature of the fees.

    According to wiki:

    Constitutionality of activity fees in the United States

    In the United States, the constitutionality of mandatory student activity fees has been adjudicated several times by the Supreme Court of the United States. Most recently, the court has ruled that public universities may subsidize campus speech by means of a mandatory student activity fee so long as fees are allocated to groups with viewpoint neutrality. See Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth 529 U.S. 217 (2000).

    Now, personally, I’m of the opinion that we should do away with mandatory fees, and solve a lot of “I don’t wanna pay for that”/”But I don’t wanna pay for your thing either” type issues. And, we’d have the added bonus of doing away with a fascist Associated Student government. Let each student organization charge whatever membership fees it desires to pay for things such as meeting room rentals, events, etc. Let the various media survive via advertising and charity. Let the marketplace and personal student interest determine funding, not one-sided politicians.

    But I do agree that as long as such fees *are* mandatory, funding should be awarded in a content neutral fashion. Or at least, each student should get to choose which orgs his or her dollars go to when paying. In other words, if Johnny has to pay $20 a quarter, he can spread out that $20 to 20 different orgs, or spend it all on the BSU or the Koala, if he so desires.

  31. You could also finally get rid of Sun God Festival and other student-funded events. I think I would have rather have saved my student activity fee and used it to pay for concerts I actually wanted to go to. If you want a Sun God Fest, then charge admission for it just like the other concerts. Don’t force people who don’t listen to Rock OR Rap to be subjected to the costs. Right on, Zoom.

  32. Ken Jackson · ·

    Thanks Zoom. I do agree that mandatory fees seem like a bad idea. At least to the extent that they fund these student run activities. In fact when I was in college I recall having to pay for the various clubs I was in. Maybe they were supplemented with additional funding, but I can’t believe it was very much money from the university.

  33. Hopefully this problem can be resolved properly so that problems like this do not happen again in the future.

  34. What we have here now in terms of mandatory fees, distribution (and re-distribution) of collected funds, inequitable treatment, ineffectiveness, the tyranny of a governing body, indoctrination, and waste is a perfect example of the “nanny state.” It’s our current State or Federal government in a microcosm – the dissolution of personal freedom and choice in favor of collectivist, biased “group” control by elitist authoritarians. We now have hundreds upon hundreds of student groups begging for a fraction of the fees they paid back, or other groups raking in out-of-control amounts of other students’ fees to push their personal agendas – we have just a small segment of those groups fighting for minuscule office space, while others get more than their fair share, without having to go through the same annual processes as everyone else.

    While I think the complete dissolution of mandatory activity fees and the Associated Students body would only benefit individual student liberty and make for a more dynamic campus, again, under the current situation, according to contemporary Supreme Court interpretation, funding must be content-neutral (and not just politically so). And this system is extremely broken. Funding, office-space and treatment are given out haphazardly, often in biased fashions, or sometimes just inequitably by way of bureaucratic ineptitude.

    And that’s just the student government/fees. That’s not even getting into the tax- and student-funded administrative and educational bureaucracies…

    The one drawback I see to dissolving the Associated Students, overall, if we ignore the current membership, and just look at potentiality – is that campus “governance” would fall more into the hands of just faculty and staff and the State government, with no unified student voice to counter-balance that. And I am a big believer in a balance of power – as with our Federal government. Keep too much power out of the hands of one group as much as possible. Then again, if State schools got out the business of playing and promoting politics, and got back into the business of researching and educating, a balanced power structure might not be necessary.

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