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Volume 68, Issue 49, Friday, November 1, 2002


Staff Editorial


Ed De La Garza        Josh Gajewski       Nikie Johnson
         Geronimo Rodriguez          Keenan Singleton


Noise pollution

The University has nothing against students rallying for peace. Rallies involving pacifists don't generally turn violent. But they may get noisy.

And that's something the University has a problem with.

From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Students United for Peace will present speeches, skits, poetry readings and other presentations at Lynn Eusan Park. SUP expects about 150 to 250 people to attend. But whether or not those attending are able to hear what's going on for the whole three hours is up in the air.

UH policy states amplified sound at outdoor events is limited to between 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to midnight on class days. The reason being that the University wants classes disrupted as little as possible. This means SUP can't have amplified sound for the entire rally.

Policy also states that an appeal should be made at least 15 students in advance of the event and submitted to the dean of students in writing. SUP's meeting with Dean of Students William Munson and Associate Dean of Students Kamran Riaz on Friday resulted in a denial Monday. An appeal followed and Thursday, the group was again told it would not be allowed an exception.

Enter Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee. Wherever students are, he's sure to be. SUP plans to meet with Lee to appeal the latest decision.

At no point should it be construed that the University's denial is the same as a disagreement with the group's philosophy. Though it may not appear that way to students left on the losing side of a decision, UH is basically looking out for the best interests of the entire student population.

Peace is well and good, but noise and trying to hear a lecture don't go that well together.

The University is not denying the group's right to assemble or to present its views. But what it is doing, and what we hope it continues to do, is to give that group its right, while allowing the rest of the students, who may not agree with the group, the ability to tune it out and do what they're here to do: learn.

Presenting different views and being open to ideas is supposed to form the basis for the "college experience." While we wish the group well in its efforts Monday, we also hope the University sticks to its guns and keeps the volume down.


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