SMU reverses decision to move 9/11 memorial after free speech controversy

SMU reverses decision to move 9/11 memorial after free speech controversy
From USA Today - August 11, 2017

Is a 9/11 memorial placed prominently on campus triggering and harmful, or an appropriate and respectful remembrance?

Thats been hotly debated at Southern Methodist University this summer. The university just reversed its decision to relegate a traditional 9/11 memorialand all other student displaysto an out-of-the-way spot on campus.

According to Campus Reform, earlier this summer, the campus organization SMU Young Americans For Freedom filed their annual request for the public display of their 9/11 memorial, a part of the national 9/11 Never Forget Project.

In response, SMU officials requested the display appear not, as usual, on Dallas Hall Lawn, but instead at a park the university noted is larger but students argued is located in a less inconspicuous spot.

Critics accused the university of muting free speech.

According the Washington Post, the universitys new policy on student displays stated that, SMU respects the right of all members of the community to avoid messages that are triggering, harmful, or harassing. That wording has now been removed from the SMU website.

Some outlets seized on the situation with critical headlines like 9/11 memorial flags may be too much for some students.

It was disappointing to us when we first discovered the new policy because of SMUs decent track record in protecting free speech, said Grant Wolf, a senior at SMU and president of the SMU Young Americans for Freedom.


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