Oct 5, 2007

Cleaning Up Free Speech

While recently walking through the Student Union at the University of Toledo, I came across one of the bulletin boards designated as "Free Speech" boards. On these particular boards, members of the university community are permitted to post materials that do not have the official stamp of approval needed to post flyers on the rest of campus.

I find it ironic, though, that the maintenance staff at the university periodically removes every scrap of paper that has been posted. I am not sure of the frequency of this official cleanup, but I would estimate that the janitorial censorship occurs every few weeks.

Granted, I suppose that some effort should be made to keep the boards current, but the wholesale housecleaning seems to be a draconian method of achieving this goal. It would seem that the same amount of effort could go into simply removing outdated materials, such as flyers for concerts and political events that have already occurred.

Given the fact that the university already puts limits on such forms of free speech by restricting the posting of unapproved flyers to a handful of public bulletin boards, one would think that these "Free Speech Boards" could remain the undisturbed bastions of public discourse they were intended to be.


kooz said...

Its been 15 years since I attended UT...and apparently they still do things that don't make sense.

mud_rake said...

I am reminded of a quote from that great statesman, George W. Bush, who said, "There ought to be limits to free speech."

MP said...

Interesting...I don't think I've ever seen that board completely free of junk.