Sunday, May 31, 2020
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Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

As a representative of the Office of the Dean of Students, I want to address a statement in last week’s New U as well as provide some information on recent campus activities related to free speech.  UC Irvine has a proud tradition of student activism on campus. The Office of the Dean of Students is aligned with students in sharing the frustration of our current fiscal challenges. Our office vigorously defends free speech on our campus from all perspectives and will continue to do so.  At the same time, we are obligated to enforce time, place and manner guidelines in order to ensure these rights and privileges.

During the recent rallies, our office has received complaints about disruption in classroom settings and unauthorized amplified sound from fellow faculty, staff and students.  Time, place and manner guidelines are in place to ensure the protection of free speech as well as ensuring the learning and teaching environments that are at the core of the university experience.  Our office is obligated to ensure that the academic setting is not disrupted and that all student rights are being protected.  This includes student organizations that have reserved amplified sound but are adversely affected by students using amplified sound outside the guidelines. Thus, we will continue to educate our student body about the proper use of amplified sound/space reservation while following up via the student conduct process with students or student organizations involved in classroom disruptions.  Our role is not to deter speech, but rather to let it thrive in a responsible manner, for all students.

Rameen Talesh
Assistant Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students