Letter to the editor

Response to the op-ed

I wanted to correct some misinformation that was included in the Daily Trojan Op-Ed on Sept. 10 which indicated USC has a “free-speech zone.”  No such zone exists on campus.

The author also implies that the university does not respect free speech rights.  This too is false.  As stated in the 2010-2011 version of SCampus (the student guidebook):

“The university recognizes the crucial importance of preserving First Amendment rights and maintaining open communication and dialogue in the process of identifying and resolving problems which arise in the dynamics of life in a university community. The legitimate expression of differing opinions and concerns, including unpopular, controversial or dissident viewpoints, is an essential element of the academic process.”

She also incorrectly states that students must give the university two weeks’ notice in order to peacefully protest.  Once again, this is an incorrect assertion.

It is truly unfortunate that Ms. Wang paints such an inaccurate picture of the university’s strong support for the important concepts of free expression.  Just a few years ago, students at the university met with the administration to refine our policies and practices to ensure that student rights were protected.  These meetings included the Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and other student organizations.  Our discussions resulted in the current policy, which preserves student rights and allows for peaceful expression and dissent.

I encourage all students to read the policy that can be found in the 2010-2011 SCampus (http://web-app.usc.edu/scampus/).

Denzil J. Suite

Associate Vice President,

Student Affairs

Correction: 9/14/10 – Free speech at private colleges not so free” (Sept. 10) referenced a 20-foot free-speech zone around Tommy Trojan.  This zone was in fact abolished several years ago after a meeting between administrators and student representatives. The article also quoted an outdated section from SCampus, which has since changed to include a blanket free-speech policy for USC’s campus.

The Daily Trojan regrets the errors.

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