Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
Inside Higher Ed has an interesting story about a college activist who was expelled over a facebook collage.
T. Hayden Barnes opposed his university’s plan to build two large parking garages with $30 million from students’ mandatory fees. So last spring, he did what any student activist would do: He posted fliers criticizing the plan, wrote mass e-mails to students, sent letters to administrators and wrote a letter to the editor of the campus newspaper. While that kind of campaign might be enough to annoy university officials, Barnes never thought it would get him expelled.
Georgia's Valdosta State University, which has a history of clamping down on students' ability to speak out (such as their draconian and unconstitutional "free expression area"), has silenced a student who had the audacity to put up some fliers and get a little satirical with Photoshop. Definitely read the rest of the article. It's beyond the pale what the university's rationale is.
FIRE actually has the photo in question (albeit in faxed format). This silly photo collage is what the President called a "clear and present danger" when he personally ordered Barnes expelled. Here's a good write-up about the controversy from University of Georgia's Red and Black.
This situation reminds us that administrators and students both have their own agendas, and rarely do they coincide. And when those agendas conflict, it should not be surprising to see the administration use whatever dirty tricks it can. We need to foster active student organizations on campus that fight for student power, and can organize an effective response when the administration tries to pull something like this. To learn more about what went down, you can join Hayden's Facebook Group.