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  • NAU Shuts Down 9/11: Never Forget Project

    9/11/2011 5:11:47 PM Posted by Ron Meyer

    Northern Arizona University (NAU) has shut down NAU conservatives attempt to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001. The group was participating in Young America's Foundation's 9/11: Never Forget Project and passing out flags with Foundation materials to students in their student union building.

    That is until NAU's Office of Student Life stepped in and shut their efforts down.

    Their excuse: the group hadn't applied for a space in NAU's "free speech zone." What's the point of a free speech zone if only administration-approved presentations can happen there? It sounds more like a "speech regulated zone."

    Originally, the group planned to hand out flags and YAF materials outside. When it rained, the group moved to a "free speech zone" with the assumption that free speech meant free speech. But, according to NAU, free speech is only acceptable when approved by the administration.

    Watch the video below, but here's the most egregious remark by the NAU administration illustrating their perverted understanding of free speech: When asked what the First Amendment stated, the administrator said, “You’re allowed to express free speech at a particular time, place, and manner.”

    Young America’s Foundation continues to support students against administrations who resist the remembrance of 9/11. In this case, NAU should have been much more understanding of these students’ patriotic efforts.

    Here’s the YouTube video of the controversy:

    (Thanks to LI's field officier Stephanee Freer for this video story)

    • Readers' Comments

    • Whose taxpayer dollars are paying these robot-like "Administrators" who are behaving like foolish uneducated bumpkins? Good for you guys for standing firm! It took courage. What would an ADF lawyer say re this? I think they would say you have a case of unprovoked viewpoint discrimination and intimidation. The Lib universities for several years now have intimidated even their staff (such as myself), simply for displaying a small flag at one's desk on the 4th of July. According to Rush Limbaugh the Libs say that the flag represents "Republicans", which is so inane! I'm sure it is more than the flag and it is most likely representative of how Left-wing university takeover of administration of campuses across this country that is now being rightly challenged by conservatives.
      Posted by Judy Doorn on 09/12/2011
    • NAU, Obama arm of freedom of speech, he is as stupid as NAU on my rights as a CITIZEN of these United States of America, thats right he is NOT a Citizen
      Posted by Doc on 09/12/2011
    • Yeah, darn these administrators following the letter of the law. Who do they think they are literally citing Supreme Court precedent handed down since the creation of our fine nation ... I say do away with all administrators, let the colleges run themselves, while we are at it, don't tax anyone and watch education flourish ... are you people for real?
      Posted by Benjamin Bassett on 09/13/2011
    • If any of you think Conservatives, or Democrats, or Liberals, or Republicans are going to turn things around for us then you're all lost already. We have to return to what America was founded on. We have to return to the Constitution. And I don't mean the Constitution how it's interpreted by those 'on top.' I mean the Constitution as it's written and meant to be followed. We aren't going to get there by keeping to one political affiliation or the other. That's what got us where we are in the first place. As a sidebar, if you really want to know what the Constitution means read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers.
      Posted by James Cochran on 09/13/2011
    • If some lib group like planned parenthood wanted to use university space, I bet they would have no issue. Like when they came to the NAU campus to collect signatures last spring and had to do it from the same spot adminstrators were trying to get the conservative group to move to... according to university policy. Socialists trying to force everyone to follow the same rules.
      Posted by Kilgore Trout on 09/14/2011
    • I'm sorry to say this, but the fact is the form your organization needed to fill out was a simple form created to help govern the flow of traffic in an incredibly high volume area. This paperwork is more about ensuring safety in a tight area in the event of a fire. If every organization that wanted to got to stand in that one entry way where the Starbucks line inevitably runs into the hotspot line, right in front of a main entry way emergency would mean disaster. The fact is not only did your organization refuse to fill out the simple required form before hand (like every single other group on campus or off is required to do in order to occupy this space,) They refused when given an opportunity to do it on the spot and move out of the direct line of traffic. This just goes to show that your organization's main focus is to cause a scene, rather than have their voices heard in a safe and peaceful manner. The fact that you would use something as tragic as 9/11 as justification to exempt yourself from filling out the proper safety paperwork is probably the most tragic part of the whole thing. The designation of free speech zones has nothing to do with the speech and a need to regulate it, rather is it a fire code issue. Free speech zones are designated as such because they provide a venue where occupancy and traffic flow doesn't need to be regulate. As a student at Northern Arizona University, and as a member of several on campus organizations, I must apologize to the NAU Administration for the selfish, lazy, and down right ignorant actions of the few. I must also apologize for the insensitivity with which my fellow students used an event like 9/11 to cause a larger issue. Also, I'd just like to say that it's ironic that your organization claims to have been there to remind people about the events of 9/11, when you yourselves didn't regard it with enough respect or to plan ahead and file the proper paperwork. These forms are not new, nor is rain in fall in Flagstaff. It's obvious you people didn't make any effort to plan your event. It's a good thing the general populace has people like you reminding us of what is going on in the world. TL;DR Get your organization together, you people are ridiculous.
      Posted by Spencer Hawley on 09/15/2011
    • I'm sorry, WHAT?! You people are really on the side of the Young Conservatives? They clearly broke a rule of the campus and by being students at the university, they agreed to follow all the rules. One of those rules is that if you are part of a student organization, you MUST fill out a tabling form (which takes two seconds, I've done it before) if you are going to be passing things, ANYTHING, out in the student Union! This was not at all a political attack from the university, they would have treated any student or student org the same exact way. The rules are simple: fill out a form, then you can pass out whatever you want. These students clearly broke the rules and are too rude and bratty to admit it. I can't believe you would support people that are so rude, and so hell-bent on making the university look bad, they'll post a video of themselves being ass holes to do it! Furthermore, the last bit in the video where it says they are being charged with student misconduct is a blatant LIE. The university is doing no such thing. I know personally one of the administrators in the video, and she has confirmed that none of the students are in trouble. Maybe you should think a little more before throwing this smut up on your website. It's not helping you look any more credible.
      Posted by Renee on 09/15/2011
    • According the verbatim statement for first amendment, the first amendment only protect us from congress passing laws limiting free speech and right to assemble. The conservatives are just as naive as many liberals when it comes to constitutional rights, and respecting the rights of the institutions they are part of. You do 9/11 remembrance no honor by disobeying state regulations, misrepresenting the first amendment. These students were given several options for location placement and were encourage to continue their activities at these locations in public space. They choose not to. How is it they are honoring the victims of 9/11?
      Posted by Justin Gaines on 09/15/2011
    • To the author, Since you were not there to witness the actions of both parties, you hardly have a neutral position in the matter. Every student orginaztion must have a permit(free) to use a booth. The students didn't have a permit or even want one, nor did they want a booth in an area they felt "they wouldn't be seen.." when asked to just move 5 feet into a booth, they refused. The area in question is extremely busy with traffic during the time they were standing there. This is one reason for the booths. Yes it was raining and that's the reason they wanted to move inside. No big deal. All they had to do is walk the 100 feet and fill out the permit, they just didn't want to. That's the point. They wanted to do whatever they saw fit. Even though ALL the other students orgs fill out the permit when they want a booth. During the video recording(the full version from a person not involved at all with the issue), viewers can see and hear the students ranting about their free speech. if they were to actually know the First Amendment, they would notice, that A; Congress was nowhere present to be inhibiting their rights, they did not petition the government to assemble, they were not giving a speech on religion, or abridging their free speech. The students were simply asked to not stand in the middle of a busy hallway to hand out their flags. In respect to their failed attempt to use the memory of the innocent lives lost on 9/11/01...These students can barely remember that day. I can assume that NONE of them have served their community or country in a manner defending the freedom of speech or any other part of the Constitution. So for them to invoke that day in a sad manner such as they did for the reason of civil disobedience, leaves me speechless. I am a real Conservative on the NAU campus. I know my rights, I have defended them in my career and my personal life plenty of times. These kids are not Conservatives, nor does any Conservative group want to be associated with them. when they hung a pinata of Pres. Obama on MLK day and proceeded to beat it, they lost all relevance
      Posted by David Beckett on 09/15/2011
    • I am a student here at NAU and recently just started attending NAU. I am amazed at this whole indecent and embarrassed, frustrated and dont know what quite to think about the whole thing. First off I think that there should have been nothing wrong with handing out flags in honor of our country in remembrance of 9/11 but I think although the 1st amendment states freedom of speech. When the last administer said that they could move 2 feet from were they were standing to a counter they should have done so there was enough controversy done by that time. I appreciate the president of NAU sending an email out to all of us students making us simi aware of the indecent but as he said to us in our email there was a huge lack of communication and this went way further than it should have ever gone. Both parties should have been much more understanding and worked toward a better conclusion. I hope in the future people can try to forget the rules and regulations and look at the big picture and also put the ego down too this goes for both parties.
      Posted by E on 09/16/2011
    • It's a free speech zone because the content isn't censored by administrators. Applications are used only to ensure there are not scheduling conflicts with other groups, or inappropriate means of content deliveriy (vulgarity, "fighting words", etc.). Both the video and this story reek of spin and one sided reporting.
      Posted by Derek on 09/20/2011
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