Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Wednesday, March 26, 2003



STUDENT MEDIA LINKS








SEARCH
FEATURES
LINKS

 

 

Crow has eye on war demonstrations

Vows to closely monitor all campus protests

 by Sarah Muench
 published on Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Pro-war supporter Jessica Zavalney, a BIS and mass communication junior, voices her opinion during a protest held in front of the MU on March 5.  Future war rallies on campus will be closely monitored as the war escalates./issues/campusnews/399477
Pro-war supporter Jessica Zavalney, a BIS and mass communication junior, voices her opinion during a protest held in front of the MU on March 5. Future war rallies on campus will be closely monitored as the war escalates.
 

advertisement


In anticipation of increased war-related demonstrations, ASU President Michael Crow sent a letter regarding campus security and protest behavior to all ASU faculty, staff and students earlier this month.

Crow said that ASU officials would monitor the demonstrations without infringing on freedom of expression, and ensure that they don't "disrupt the educational mission of the University."

It was no particular protest that led Crow to address the ASU community, but rather the nation's move from "yellow" to "orange" on the U.S. Homeland Security terror alert system, said Nancy Neff, assistant vice president of strategic communication.

"Over the last few months, as it was becoming more likely our nation was heading for large-scale military conflict in Iraq, I wanted to be sure we had all of our bases covered," Crow said.

Bryan Vanderhoof, ASU American Civil Liberties Union vice president, said he agrees with Crow's remarks.

"As long as President Crow doesn't take a side, I think it's great that he's paying attention to it at all," Vanderhoof said. "We promote groups' rights to say what they want to say, and the administration can monitor as much as they want as long as they don't interfere."

Protest organizer and first-year law student Kyrsten Sinema said more of a police presence at protests could have both negative and positive effects.

"It's a very double-edged sword," said Sinema, who has organized more than 15 protests over the course of the year.

Sinema said when police officers are present in civilian clothes they make protesters feel less threatened from protest opponents. However, Sinema said more uniformed police could make protesters fearful.

"It can have a chilling effect on free speech; it can make people very intimidated," Sinema said. "Many, many people are afraid to demonstrate with increased police."

Crow said in addition to the presence of the ASU Department of Public Safety's presence during demonstrations, ASU administration will "monitor the campus climate" and listen carefully to students, faculty and staff.

Crow added that ASU has numerous free-speech areas, such as Hayden Lawn and Cady Mall for demonstrators to gather, but that demonstrations are not allowed in classroom areas.

In the e-mail, Crow established a phone line, 480-727-9911, for anyone to call to receive updates on the status of the University during wartime.

Though Crow said ASU will remain open and classes will be held as usual, the phone line can be used to alert people that certain events are canceled if there is reason to be concerned about security.

"There might be specific recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security about holding large sporting, cultural or other events that would bring large numbers of people to a specific venue," Crow said.

Journalism sophomore Theron Léonce said the phone line is a good idea.

"I'm not able to get the news every day," Léonce said. "With all these options now, I can do it when necessary."

He added that monitoring demonstrations could be beneficial to the University.

"We want to try to keep school running in a normal environment," Léonce said.

Reach the reporter at sarah.muench@asu.edu.



Print This Story, click here

Sponsors
RC Helicopters


Copyright © 2001-06, ASU Web Devil. All rights reserved. No reprints without permission.

Online Editor In Chief: Jolie McCullough | Online Adviser: Jason Manning | Technical Contact: Jason Wulf

Contact Info | Privacy Policy