YAL-UGA told that debt clock was outside of “free speech zones”

Earlier today, YAL at the University of Georgia put up our debt clock on campus to display the enormity of our current debt.  At about 1 p.m., a university employee came and told myself and chapter member Carter Kessler that we could not display our sign where we had it.  After he first said this, I assumed that it was because we were in violation of some facilities policy because our sign was so large and near to a public walkway.  Had this been the case, I would not have had a big problem with moving our sign .

However, the only reason the employee cited for making us take down our display was that we were not in a free speech zone.  He said that we could not exercise free speech because we were on UGA property, but that we would be able to exercise free speech if we moved to Athens-Clarke County property.  I’m sure I am not the first YAL member to encounter such a policy, but it is new for me because I went to a private school where free speech was completely unconstrained for my undergraduate studies.  I don’t necessarily begrduge the employee, as he was following university policy, but our chapter is considering possible responses to this action.  Stay tuned for future developments.

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