You are on page 1of 4

Gabrielle Goodloe

ENC 3331-0M02
December 1, 2014
Plan of Action
Navigating First Amendment Rights on College Campuses
Through my plan of action, I want to address the ongoing misunderstanding between the
universitys desires for free speech and UCF students who do not see their rights being upheld
over non-university groups. Numerous student organizations like Students for a Democratic
Society (SDS) have had their protests broken up for being outside of the designated free speech
and assembly zones, but according to the universitys policies, students are not restrained to the
zones as non-university groups are. To address this issue, I believe a thorough examination of the
policies is in order to harmonize the exact intent of UCFs rules with the behaviors of campus
police who seem to have a different interpretation. If UCF wishes to display an identity as a
progressive school concerned with promoting free speech, unity with the policies and the
university is necessary.
In addition to correcting UCFs policies, I recommend enacting stricter harassment policies to be
employed with the Golden Rule Student Handbook to protect students more. Currently these
groups are exercising their rights, but this is still a college campus. Rather than engaging in
serious conversation to express their views, many of the non-university groups are just shouting
and insulting students that walk by with unfound accusations. These groups are able to come
onto to campus pretty easily now, but creating a contract to enforce non-abusive behavior is key.
If we also involved campus police to be the enforcers of contracts that the groups must sign and
agree to, UCF could begin fixing the abusive behavior or begin banning those who do not
comply. Differing views are perfectly acceptable, but students also crowd around these people.

These situations become a group against one and there is no one monitoring anyone to make sure
everything is contained.
UCFs website Use Your Voice was created as a resource for both university and nonuniversity groups to use for reference, but the website does not seem to be doing its job if
misunderstandings of the policies is still existing for students. Young Americans for Liberty, a
student organization, recently held a protest at the beginning of the semester charging that the
zones were functioning as censorship. I believe more promotion of the website by the
universitys Office of Student Involvement could help alleviate issues that have constantly come
up since the creation of the zones. Students want to know that they still have their rights, even on
college campuses and are not being prevented from expressing their opinions. As the Office of
Student Involvement is in charge of approving groups and their demonstrations, this information
should be more widely available and have a more prominent position of the offices website.
Currently, the only information regarding organizations and protesting is a small blurb in the
sidebar with information about the SAFE form or Safety Action for Event forms that are required
for larger protests.
To promote the website and clear up misunderstandings, a forum held between student
organizations and the university could also address issues stemming from non-university groups
and students surrounding harassment. The SGA recently held an event, Fireside Chats, where the
Student Body President and the Executive Cabinet opened themselves up to questions from
students on different topics. That forum also functioned as a way to update the student body on
achievements of the administration and future endeavors. Similarly to that idea, I would like to
modify the forum for student organizations to present their thoughts on the current state of free
speech on campus before OSI and the Student Government Association. Some groups regard the
current policies as a restriction of their first amendment rights and some groups have even had

their demonstrations broken up recently despite being in the designated free speech and assembly
Each protest is required to go through the Office of Student Involvement for approval so
a reassessment of university policies for the forum is definitely key. Rather than prioritize
outside organizations and allowing them to always be allowed on campus, UCF could begin
giving more space for students to express themselves over non-university affiliated groups. More
attention should also be paid to making sure outside organizations are adhering to the conduct
policies set by the university. UCF is a public university, but it still is an environment that is
supposed to be conductive to learning.