Wednesday, March 31, 2004

ASUC Elections Council: Unabashed Enemies of Free Speech

On April 8th there will be an ASUC election candidates' forum that all students can attent in which each executive and senatorial candidate will have two minutes and one minute respectively to discuss his or her platform and to try to motivate the seven people in the audience and the Daily Cal reporter to vote for him or her. Not a bad idea. Or at least it wouldn't be if the the ASUC Elections Council weren't so intent upon stifling free speech.

Each candidate received an email this morning from Angel Symoon Brewer, Assistant Chair of said council. The highlight comes in reference to candidates' choice of words:

The following are absolutely forbidden: hate speech, vulgar/offensive language, and negative campaigning (aka trashing another candidate or party). I know the words "vulgar", "offensive" and even "hate speech" can be ambiguous. Let's put it this way: if you have concerns about what you want to say, you probably shouldn't say it. All inappropriate speeches will be halted immediately. Failure to follow these rules will result in your dismissal from the forum by security, and/or possible censures.

So, in effect, the figureheads of the ASUC are demanding that the federal, state, and ASUC constitutional rights to free speech be violated in the pursuit of some ill-conceived notion of harmony. Needless to say, Rebecca C. Brown, the champion of the right to dissent, is not pleased.

I of course do not advocate rudeness or downright assault, but if I choose to use the words "penis" or "cunt" or "fuck-shit-turd" that is my right, and the ASUC has no authority to abridge that right.

Obviously this threat of removal and/or censure from Angel and her fellow Chairpeople is not aimed at CalSERVE or Student Action or DAAP. It's aimed at me and the rest of the Squelch! Party, and any other would-be trouble-makers who choose to reveal the ASUC for what it currently is.

If you feel even remotely as strongly as I do on this issue, I implore you to write an email to the Elections Council members and ask them to not limit students' constitutional and logical rights. Please politely and eloquently contact:

Angel Brewer:
Leslieann Cachola:
Rebecca Simon:
Ryan Powell:


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