Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Choice vs. Life," Mar. 24, 2005,
In the last edition of the Gauntlet, U of C Vice-President Roman Cooney claimed that "no students were banned" from university grounds during last week's Campus Pro-Life event.
For those who are interested, here's what really happened: Campus Security followed our postering group, tearing down all of the posters that we had put up. After about half an hour of postering, a group of six security guards caught up to our group and demanded to see our student (or otherwise) IDs. They told us we were not allowed to put up posters without permission from the Students' Union. Obviously this is not normally required, and although the university had rejected CPL's request to bring large posters on campus, they had in fact explicitly said 8.5 x 11S were okay. After recording student ID numbers, all students in our group were told they were banned from being on campus until their next class.
I immediately went to see Lanny Fritz, head of [Campus] Security, and requested a written statement justifying our removal. Myself and another group member were escorted by a security officer to our vehicle. We also asked him for the reason for our removal from campus and he stated that we were in violation of the Trespassing Act. Three security officers waited nearby until we left and security kept a close eye on us from their Dino-Durangos for the rest of the day. On one drive by of our group on 24 Ave., one of the security officers also chose to honk in favour of the opposing "choice" demonstrators, nicely demonstrating the kind of "fair, unbiased" treatment CPL received from the university that day.
So, in light of what actually happened and Cooney's inaccurate comments it seems to me that one of the following is in order: a clarification from Cooney that the Gauntlet misunderstood him; an apology from Cooney for trying to mislead Gauntlet readers about what really happened; or an apology fro Campus Security for misleading Cooney (and a suggestion Cooney check both sides of a story before making such statements in the future).
As for the comment from SU President Bryan West that CPL was not denied space for our signs, the SU Executive Cabinet denied our proposal due to its "graphic and potentially offensive" nature. The proposed space was only granted from the SU once university administration was brought in for an appeal.