Friday, October 28, 2016

Meet the Free Speech SWAT Team

It appears free speech needs a'watching up in Oxford.  The Daily Mississippian Online reported on October 13:

The university has created a response team to help handle student protests and first amendment rights on campus.

The Demonstration and Assembly Response Team is a faculty-led committee put into place after university staff needed help responding to and garnering support for demonstrations and assemblies on campus, according to Valeria Beasley Ross, associate dean of students and leader of DART.

“The role of the Demonstration and Assembly Response Team is to support the opportunity for freedom of expression activities at the University of Mississippi,” Ross said.

The team’s concept was developed in the fall 2015 and now has a total of 22 staff members from Ole Miss.

Team members walk across campus throughout the day and search for any demonstrations or free speech activities taking place. A freedom of speech activity can be a rally, parade or any other type of assembly in which students are expressing their views. The faculty members can also help provide feedback and different perspectives for the demonstration’s ideas.

“The DART members’ role is to introduce themselves to the lead coordinator of the demonstration, make clear the university’s expectations and to support the creation of a safe environment,” Ross said.

College students have the freedom to be involved in campus demonstrations and other free-speech initiatives going on around campus.

She believes for learning to take place, it is important for these activities to be done in a way allowing the Ole Miss mission to continue and support campus safety as well. DART strives to get students involved in things they’re passionate about while avoiding interrupting the learning environment.

With today’s college campuses being the modern marketplace for exchanging ideas, teams similar to DART already exist on many other campuses under different names, according to Ross.

“As a higher education institution that supports transformative learning and thinking, the University of Mississippi is committed to being a leader on these matters, and we want to be in a place to support this type of learning. DART provides our university with this support,” Ross said.

Jesse Sullivan, senior computer science major, said he thinks the team is a necessity on campus.

“I see them as doing their job very well and ‘under the radar’ as it should be to maintain an environment that is inviting for free speech,” Sullivan said. “It needs to be regulated within reason, mostly in the sense that everything is law-abiding and not going to hurt the school.”

Allison Terrell, a freshman criminal justice major, said she thinks the DART team will benefit campus.

Terrell was only a few months into her first semester at Ole Miss when students occupied the Lyceum to protest. Although the demonstration was peaceful, Terrell said she could imagine, if someone would have became violent, it would have been convenient to have university staff nearby.

“That could’ve gotten out of hand,” Terrell said. “For someone to go back and report those (protests), it’s a very great thing to keep the community safe for others.”

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The story left out that the DART members carry adult diapers for student use as needed.

Anonymous said...

What a load of shit!!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling they aren't privy to any activity involving Christian Coalition Right Wing Conservatives(country program directors and Nashville record executives).

Anonymous said...

I think they need to form a support group for the DART team called Friends of Assembly Response Team.

Anonymous said...

I was there from 1971 to 1975. Only demonstration I remember was when we streaked down sorority row in spring 75.

Anonymous said...

No 3:13. That is in the adult diapers that 3:09 mentioned.

Anonymous said...

That is brilliant 3:14 and in case that went over the head of the less keen or more tired among us here is the punchline: FART!

Anonymous said...


"Team members walk across campus throughout the day and search for any demonstrations or free speech activities taking place . . . The faculty members can also help provide . . . different perspectives for the demonstration’s ideas." I'm ashamed to be a graduate of this school.

Anonymous said...

As a former faculty member of real universities not political correctness U I would like to inquire what would be different perspectives could/would be presented by a Louisiana black bear

Messick said...

The New Facism arrives.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to going to college to learn? What happened to getting a degree that you could use to provide a living for you and your family? We seem to be leaving that part in the dust.

Anonymous said...

What have we done/are we doing to our children? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

They'll be actively reviewing books the students are reading next to stop subversion and ideologies not approved by the university.

Anonymous said...

When you allow trial lawyers to take over your school shit happens.

Anonymous said...

As an active Ole Miss student and someone with an actual bone in this conversation, I am glad this was created. This isn't in any way a threat to the First Amendment and is much needed after some recent incidents. Nobody including DART or myself is trying to limit these groups free speech or prohibit them from setting foot on campus if they get their permit. The two most recent incidents were KKK members in their robes supporting the MS flag and a group of Westboro-esque street preachers. Both were allowed to demonstrate and harass students in between the Grove and the Student Union. They yelled at many ladies (including visiting high schoolers and their families) and called them sluts for simply wearing Nike shorts, told students that their dead grandmothers are being sodomized by the devil, and provoked students to hit them so they could sue just like Westboro does. DART is a much needed effort by the University to protect campus safety and any comment about "facism" or students needing "adult diapers" shows your depth of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Get a refund @5:34 and a protective bunker, er, safe space away from the real world.

Anonymous said...

One sensible and intelligent comment on here from 5:34, who is actually a student. The rest of you seem overly concerned with bodily functions. Sorry you have those personal issues.
This is an excellent, proactive program that will prevent peaceful protests from escalating, and keep those inflammatory types of protesters from harassing students and visitors to the campus.

Anonymous said...

OK 5:34. You described what the groups were doing. How about telling us what DART did in these instances.

Anonymous said...

Great, now academics are in charge of security; how about this - academics teach classes and the University PD handles situations where folks are being harassed. Harassment is harassment no matter the message, it seems that adding academics to the mix will provide an opportunity for "selective tolerance."

Silly question, how much is this costing, for professors and instructors to not be professing and instructing??? And by the way, if there's harassment occurring, they STILL going to have to call the PD to boot those folks! Sounds like a misappropriation (READ: waste) of resources to me.

Houston Nutt said...

There just aint no heppin' this bunch anymore.

Anonymous said...

One sensible and intelligent comment on here from 5:34, who is actually a student.

I'm a sensible student there also. You know that, right?

Anonymous said...

5:34, why no mention of the BLM groups?

Anonymous said...

These wimps need to go to PCU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnennI3C8PM

Anonymous said...

i just wish we could stop the run.

Anonymous said...

5:34 pm Thank you for trying to explain to those who don't understand that free speech has always had limits.
They don't know that yelling fire in a theater and inciting to riot are against the law nor do they have the intelligence to understand why those laws exist. They don't think that words are powerful because they lack the words to be persuasive.
The Klan and Westboro types think you persuade others by bullying and insult and terrorizing others. They think fear works just as ISIS does. A person who can do more than memorize comes to understand that you kill an idea with a better idea . Hate groups like the Klan and Westboro and radical Islam jihadist see oppression and death as the way to kill ideas. That never has worked in the long run but they are people without real vision or sense of history.

Anonymous said...

Activate DART ! There is a man walking in the Grove whistling Dixie!

Anonymous said...

I think that a review of actions at Ole Miss are going to be found to infringe speech. It's pretty clear that limits, as established in Barrett vs Khayat, and at the 5th, have been exceeded. That case established that 12 x 14 inch flags, yes, actual Rebel flags, were allowed. Content is being regulated, and that's the downfall of their stance. No, not for Rebel flags. For changing the state flag. But the arrest of a kid with a small flag, no stick, within the case law guidelines, coupled with a ton of "no policy" years, and the last years of ever changing goal posts, is going to hurt OM. The kid's arrest was fruit of the poison tree. And you can try to hang a 20 year old for drinking all you want, but he's going to prevail in the long run. The UMPD and UM counsel need to take a long, sober look at these committees and rules.

Anonymous said...

"Team members walk across campus throughout the day and search for any demonstrations or free speech activities taking place". Wow. Again, the lawyers are going to have a field day. It's Con Law 101, yet, they still can't go back to basic SCOTUS rulings and see the problem. "[T]o the extent [that a] campus has park areas, sidewalks, streets, or other similar common areas,
these areas are public forums, at least for the University’s students, irrespective of whether the University has so designated them or not. " Etc, etc, etc.

Here's A Few More Hate Groups.. said...

"The Klan and Westboro types think you persuade others by bullying and insult and terrorizing others."

7:24; In your little dissertation, you failed to mention other hate groups. For example: Black Lives Matter. The Southern Poverty Law Center. The New Black Panther Party. The NAACP. The Urban League. The Jackson Mayor and City Council.

You also seem to think 'the Klan' is still active and relevant. You might not know that 85% of the time, Westboro never even shows up as threatened. They have largely been de-nutted by the Patriot Guard as if they weren't already irrelevant. The only think that keeps them alive is the fear that they might show up and even THAT fear is totally unfounded.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student at State. We get these same groups 2 or 3 times a semester. Usually, the campus police just go stand about 30 feet away and monitor the situation and everything is fine. The Westboro guys say some stupid shit, people laugh at them, and everybody goes home. I'm pretty sure getting professors involved in the situation would be a big mistake.

Only In The Public Sector... said...

11:24.....you left out the fact that your professors would demand comp-time for this activity outside the classroom. And their claim would be upheld by DOL Wage and Hour.

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