Several students at Wesleyan said their freedom of expression was hindered recently.
After several anonymous posts were taken down from a bulletin board at Dora’s Café by someone in the Communications Office, some students are inquiring why they were taken down. Jeremy Hunt, sophomore mass communications major, said early this semester he and a group of students came up with the idea to help students express their feelings in an anonymous way by using a Facebook page and bulletin boards in various buildings throughout campus, including Dora’s.
“Its intention is to help students anonymously post their emotions or whatever they’re dealing with,” Hunt said. “It’s just a space for them to express themselves.
Chris Windsor, assistant dean of students, said in an email that all non-Communications Office postings must be approved.
“All non-communication Office postings on bulletin boards or other locations must be approved by and stamped through Student Life,” Windsor said in an email. “Since the postings on the bulletin board in Dora’s did not follow this policy, they were removed upon notification to the Student Life Office.”
Hunt said he believed taking down the anonymous posts from Dora’s limits students and violates freedom of speech.
“If you’re taking down someone’s freedom of speech, someone’s action, that to me shows the limitations and boundaries,” Hunt said. “We are all adults here, and I feel if we can’t express ourselves due to board of trustees, due to faculty, due to the ‘Wesleyan way’ or what have you, where’s the growth?—where’s the diversity?—where’s the uniqueness of individuals?”
Evan Carr, junior criminal justice major and marine veteran, said as long as students don’t offend anyone by their anonymous posts, they should have the right to express themselves without censorship. Carr said he fought for these rights.
“It shouldn’t happen at all, if it’s anonymous, students should have the right to express how ever they want to as long as they don’t offend anybody,” Carr said. “I fought for these freedoms, and it makes me mad to know that they’re taking our freedom of expression away.”
According to the student handbook under the Freedom of Inquiry and Expression on page 67, students shall be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions orally or written, publicity and privately.