MEDIA Anonymous Publications Could Be Confiscated By Liz cDonald Hoya Staff Writer

Campus officials could confiscate some anonymous publications under a modified version of the university’s speech and expression policy that has been drafted partially in response to an anonymous publication that was distributed on campus last spring.

Anonymous publications that target identifiable, individual members of the community and violate the current university policy would be subject to confiscation by Juan C. Gonzalez, vice president for Student Affairs under the proposed policy.

Members of the university’s Committee on Speech and Expression said that the proposal was drafted partially in response to the distribution last May of a publication bearing the name and resemblance to The Hoya.

“Dr. Gonzalez wanted something in place in case we confronted something like that again,” Assistant Dean of Students Jeanne Lord said. “That’s why we’re going around to discuss this – because it affects all of us as a community.”

Under the policy, publications removed from public distribution places could be used for educational purposes.

Anthony Arend, a faculty representative on the committee, said the university could potentially bring in outside scholars to discuss the issues raised by the publication.

“This university is all about education, so the logic behind the policy is that we can benefit from some kind education concerning anonymous publications,” Arend said.

“The change was needed because of the fact that anonymous publications aren’t congruent with what the university stands for – people are expected to take responsibility for their opinions,” said Meaghan Keeler (SFS ’02), student representative on the committee.

Lord also stressed the importance of maintaining open conversation throughout the university.

“We believe so strongly in positive discourse that we’re trying to live the spirit of free speech through the policy itself,” Lord said. “The feeling has been all along to seek student thought on the issue,” she said.

The committee, comprised of four students and seven faculty and staff representatives, will begin presenting the proposal to various groups, including GUSA, the Main Campus Faculty Senate and the Media Board, next week.

According to the proposal, “in our university context, anonymity or pseudonymity should be temporary and tactical. Once the ideas have been put forward and the conversation has begun, their author should sooner or later come forward, the point having been made. Personal attacks under the cloak of anonymity disqualify their authors from being taken to be members of this community.”

The Committee on Speech and Expression, composed of faculty and student representatives, is a standing committee that advises the Dean of Students on matters relating to speech and expression. The Dean of Students is responsible for administering these guidelines set forth by the committee.

The committee, comprised of four students and seven faculty and staff representatives, will begin presenting the proposal to various groups, including GUSA, the Main Campus Faculty Senate and the Media Board, next week.

According to the proposal, “in our university context, anonymity or pseudonymity should be temporary and tactical. Once the ideas have been put forward and the conversation has begun, their author should sooner or later come forward, the point having been made. Personal attacks under the cloak of anonymity disqualify their authors from being taken to be members of this community.”

The Committee on Speech and Expression, composed of faculty and student representatives, is a standing committee that advises the Dean of Students on matters relating to speech and expression.

The Dean of Students is responsible for administering these guidelines set forth by the committee.

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