Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Sifting through the Cal Poly SLO transcript 

Joanne Jacobs has picked through the transcript in the Steve Hinkle case. I have read the transcript as well and have a couple of additional thoughts. One, the hearing was conducted to only investigate disruption of the meeting. The administration was asked explicitly if they were charging Hinkle with a violation of a policy on posting fliers, and they said no.
RG: (the hearing officer) The conduct giving rise to the charges against the student charged are as follows. On the evening of November twelfth, two thousand two, the student charged disrupted a student meeting at the University Multicultural Center. Is that the extent of the charge?
AT (director of judicial affairs Ardith Tregenza): It is.
RG: Any amendments?
AT: He was also posting in violation of University policies.
SH(inkle): I have a question.
RG: Yes?
SH: Do I have to be notified of any amendments that are charged by [indistinct]?
RG: Yes, technically, if the nature of the charge is substantially amended, then you have � I can technically postpone the hearing for you to have an opportunity to review the charges.
SH: Because I don�t have any of my paperwork if the charge also contains a violation of the posting policy.
AT: I�ll go ahead and not amend the charges in order to proceed today.
So it's only for the disruption of the meeting that he's supposed to be charged, though she continues to bring it into the discussion, even citing him as violating the policy in her closing statement. But when the student identified as S6 was asked to write for the administration what she would like the resolution of the case to be (this comes right after the first quote Jacobs uses), she replies:
�I hope my Bible study group can receive a public apology from the student printed in the
Mustang Daily as well as on texts posted around campus and in the classroom for this hate speech against us.�
But of course, they don't want a hate speech case either, so they duck that question:
SH: No, no. The idea still stands that she thought that the flier was hate speech.
RG: Well, I don�t think I want to hear that question answered. I understand that she answered the
question, that she thought the flier was offensive. Do you have any more questions?
No, nobody wants to say this is a hate speech case, because that makes the case much more difficult to sustain. Instead we are asked to "get along". In Trezenga's closing argument we find
you said it�s obvious the students were upset. You just stated that. If it�s obvious they were upset and it�s obvious that they asked you to leave, why didn�t you, you know, leave? Why didn�t you pursue your questions to them at another time, at another venue?
A right so circumscribed is no right at all. Either Hinkle has free speech or he does not. If Cal Poly SLO is going to argue that there's a time and place restriction on the posting of the flyer in a common area in the student union, where there was no notice of a meeting taking place, then they have in effect re-segregated their campus.

UPDATE: Mitch chimes in.

I poke fun at the two-bit bigotry behind sides like this, or Democrats.com. Seeing it from the leadership of a main-line, prestigious public institution, though - it's not a surprise, but it's still a demoralizing surprise in 2003.
Cal Poly SLO is a prestigious institution? It doesn't suck, sure, ranking between Loyola Marymount and Redlands for a masters-level regional, but prestigious? Not with the assministration they've got running the place.