New postering policy limits freedom: CSU

The dean of students office recently proposed a new poster policy, taking steps to ensure that the limited amount of space available for postering on campus be equitably divided among the university’s various organizations.
Michael Golden, co-ordinator of student affairs, said that while the university was committed to freedom of speech, it was important that all student groups got equal say and equal access, therefore making some control necessary.
The new policy, which was still in draft form and open to debate, stated that all posters must be authorized by the dean of students office or the Concordia Student Union (CSU) before being hung. It also indicated that posters may only be displayed in strictly designated areas and limited the number of copies of a single poster to 30.
A failure by the the student societies, including the CSU, to comply with any of the rules would lead to an official warning from the university’s security department. Subsequent violations would lead to the loss of postering privileges on campus.
“The policy is totally unacceptable,” said Patrice Blais, interim CSU president.
“There will have to be serious changes. The fact that we are only allowed to have 30 posters won’t let us advertise events properly and nobody will know about them. Besides its against accreditation laws.”
According to Dean of Students, Donald Boisvert, certain exceptions will be granted in the case of special events such as the upcoming CSU elections.
However, these exceptions are not long-term; each case must be re-evaluated and approved in advance by Boisvert’s office.
Organizations that are not officially recognized by the university will be fined up to $175 for any acts of non-compliance.
Robert Panetta, the science college representative for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA), affirmed that he had no problem with the new policy. “So long as we’re not being completely banned from postering, I don’t see any real issue.
ASFA Vice President Finance, Riccardo Filippone, concurred. “I support that the dean of students office is going to be stricter in approving posters because a lot of them are not even associated to Concordia student affairs. It’s almost offensive, the amount of posters on the walls, and they eventually start to lose their effect.”
Because designated postering areas, which exclude classrooms and bathrooms, are very limited, Golden has ensured that 80 new poster boards would soon be distributed about campus. These new boards would allow more space without damaging the walls with tape and glue.
Besides the equitable distribution of space, the safety of students was also kept in mind when drafting the policy. The excess amount of paper, and its flammable nature, can be a serious fire hazard.
“Imagine one of the escalators blowing a fuse and the sparks catching on to all that paper that’s hanging on the walls to the side of it. It would blow like a chimney,” said Golden.
This issue and others will be discussed at special meeting at the dean of
students office Nov. 8. All those who will be affected by the new policy, namely the university’s student organizations, will be invited to voice any concerns they may have before the final document is filed. Concordia’s security and fire safety officials Darren Dumoulin and Normand Lanthier will also be available to field any questions.
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