Towerlight: Expression on campus still under review

Courtesy of TheTowerlight.com Professor Richard Vatz weighs in on the issues during the University Senate meeting at Towson.

Following last year’s adult movie screening at the University of Maryland College Park, the buzz about pornography is still around.

Policies are now taking shape that may allow or prevent pornographic or subjective material to be screened on campus.

The University Senate met on Monday to discuss the issue of free expression in film on University property. Members of the senate each expressed concerns, stating that they do not wish to hinder the rights to free speech while at the same time making sure that certain content on campus does not hinder education nor does it harm individuals.

There have been a number of options proposed as the University Senate plans to form an ad hoc committee to finish a draft to send to the University System of Maryland by the end of the semester.

The department of campus life is also heavily involved, starting conversations with students and student groups to gather feedback for the Time, Place and Manner of Expression Policy.

Associate director of campus life Teri Hall said content of expression is not the issue.

“It all comes down to that it’s about the process. It’s not about the content,” she said. “Content is never the issue. It’s not about what’s going to be said, it’s about ‘is it an appropriate place and will it interfere with classes.’”

Hall explained that members of the University community, i.e. students on campus, have certain rights that others do not. She said that the purpose of the new Time, Place and Manner policy is to really make clear that students have those rights to hold public expression or demonstration events on campus.

Read the full version of this article as originally posted on TheTowerlight.com

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