New policy to enforce specified Free Speech Zones

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Those seeking to express themselves on campus are limited on where they can, due to a new policy.

Administrative Procedure 3760 gives the district the right to move citizens being disruptive to specific zones on campus.  Free Speech Zones, as they are called, have been used throughout history to regulate the time and place of protesters and activists.

The policy change comes to Delta because of previous demonstrations on campus raising complaints, such as the anti-abortion exposition.

With the old policy, it was hard for the campus to regulate events to create a more comfortable environment.

Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Matthew Wetstein proposed changes to the old policy. “My general philosophy is to be very open about the First Amendment,” he said. “But sometimes it goes too far.”

One zone is around the Joe Serna Amphitheater, and is labeled as Non-Amplified.  This means that while within this zone, no one is allowed to create noise that agitates others sharing the same area.

A second zone is located on the grassy side of Blanchard Gym.

A third zone at the Mountain House campus is located near the West Entry and is adjacent to the parking lot.

Not everyone feels secure about this new policy, including Brian Wick, president of Delta Pride. The club works for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight people on campus.

“(Delta Pride) relies on our country’s right of free speech. We express our own views that can be quite controversial to some people,” said Wick. “I don’t think its right that we have been limited to zones.”

Though the policy isn’t clear on what could be considered disruptive, leadership in the past has upheld good judgment.

To read a copy of the new procedures effecting free speech on campus, click here.