Club and event fliers on campus are out of control. There is a need to publicize events on campus in order to encourage student involvement, but we have reached a point where we are being extremely wasteful and affecting the image of our campus. I do not think the university should have any role in censoring the content of club fliers but I do think it is their duty to take action in order to curb and control postings.

I want to acknowledge that at one time or another the vast majority of student groups are guilty of excessive posting of fliers. With that said I’d like to give some recent specific figures. On the evening of Nov. 19 I counted some of the fliers posted in the corridor exiting Red Square. A campaign by the College Republicans supporting action against Iraq took the lead with three varieties of fliers, totaling 246 sheets. A counter campaign by GU Peace totaled 96 fliers. A variety of Lecture Fund events were the third largest group with 70. In a small space such as the corridor I feel like these numbers are extreme.

Many of these campaigns are not only excessive but also ineffective. For example, a number of people looking at all the College Republican and GU Peace fliers could not distinguish who was pro-war and who was anti-war because of unclear messages. Not only are many of these excessive flier campaigns unclear but also many are downright ugly. If you’ve got an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper you ought to use the whole thing. Tiny fonts and small fuzzy pictures are not the way to get a point across. If you’re going to take the time to post hundreds of fliers you may as well invest the extra time to come up with a decent design.

Groups take little care in removing their posters, thus diverting university resources to the project while those that do remove the fliers certainly do not take the time to remove the massive amounts of masking tape that make the paper un-recyclable. oreover, old fliers lying on the ground do not discourage people from littering. Every instance of disrespect toward our campus breeds indifference that can only lead to further decay.

Until forced by the university and student government, campus clubs have little incentive to change these ridiculous and wasteful practices.

Stronger posting limits should be designed and, more importantly, enforced. If the administration is unable or unwilling to enforce such a policy then GUSA and SAC should take on the responsibility. Specific and limited areas should be designated for the posting of fliers. Violators should be fined or face other censure such as loss of funding or loss of the right to post at all. The accountability of individual organizations should be greater. Many groups position their name on a flier in a size and position that defies recognition. If groups wish to take a stand on issues they should do so boldly or not at all.

Increased regulation will not limit the ability of student organizations to advertise events and spread their views, but rather will force innovative efforts to create clearer and more effective campaigns, and promote greater respect for the public spaces of our university. This will benefit the entire student population.

Bertram Whitman is a senior in the College.

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