13.4.16

THAT CENSORIOUS IMPULSE.

In higher education, it appears as though the new antidote to provocative speech is no speech.  It's not enough to limit assembly to unconstitutional free speech zones, sometimes, as at DePaul, it's necessary to prohibit #chalkening.  That doesn't surprise.  DePaul is a Jesuit institution, where the #holyinquisition lives on in a Free Speech and Expression Task Force.  And the latest heresy involves #MakeDePaulGreatAgain.
DePaul University will no longer allow students to chalk political messages on the sidewalks of its campus because of the “offensive, hurtful, and divisive” nature of pro-Trump chalking found on campus last week.

“While these chalk messages are part of national agendas in a heated political battle, they appeared on campus at a time of significant racial tension in our country and on college campuses. DePaul is no exception,” Depaul’s vice president for student affairs Eugene Zdziarski wrote in a campus-wide email obtained by Campus Reform. “The university has been addressing campus climate issues in an effort to provide an inclusive and supportive educational environment. In this context, many students, faculty and staff found the chalk messages offensive, hurtful and divisive.”
All #chalkening is prohibited.  But some #chalkening is more prohibited.
Zdziarski noted, after the Trump chalkings appeared, that students are not even allowed to chalk on sidewalks at all.

“Students or student organizations may not post partisan political flyers, posters, signs or images on University bulletin board, buildings, electronic message boards, forums or sidewalks. This includes chalking on campus property,” he said.

Campus Reform& reached out to DePaul to ask why university officials chose to respond to this particular chalking instance despite claims that chalking “regularly” occurs on campus. No response was received in time for publication.
The sidewalks on campus are juris privati and the university is within its legal rights in keeping them free of graffiti, or hopscotch.  Interesting, though, that they only discover a reason to stand on a principle when it involves an in-your-face challenge to the received ethos.

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