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An Open Letter to the Campus Community from Lit Grads

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In her most recent press release, Chancellor Denton states that Tent University is a security threat. "This is not an issue of free speech," she says. "Rather it is a matter of ensuring students' safety and protecting the orderly conduct of our educational mission." As graduate students of literature we understand this to be the language of bureaucratic euphemism, the same form of official rhetoric that has been used in the past to stymie academic debate.

And though we concur that there is a great need for the spirit of openness which Chancellor Denton calls for, we see her invocation of the highly politicized concept of security as an administrative tactic to justify control of public space and limit the exchange of ideas. If the UCSC community is really to foster "open dialogue," then the administration must dispense with policies and positions that pit the leitmotif of public safety against the practice of free speech. There is no liberty where the outcome is already determined; under such a presumptive and authoritarian logic, security always trumps freedom. Read more... Open Letter to the Campus Community from Lit Grads || Tent University Santa Cruz, April 18-22: Claiming UCSC As Our Own

See Also: Clarifying UCSC (an email from UCSC's Division of Student Affairs)

We write to assure you that the University is committed to free speech. As a community and as an institution of higher education, we support civil debate, open dialogue, and alternative educational experiences.

What the university cannot permit, and what is not at all related to “free speech? is the establishment of a campsite on campus where students and the general public have been invited to bring their own tents and live for a week. We urge you not to confuse these issues. The University and the City of Santa Cruz have very clear policies, regulations and laws regarding camping and we will be obliged to enforce them. Read More
 

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