The following comes from a June 4 College Fix article by Alexandra Zimmern:
After images of fetuses growing in the womb caused an uproar at the University of Southern California, campus officials plan to tighten policies regulating what banners may be hung on light posts along Trousdale Parkway, a main walkway that cuts through the center of campus.
What’s more, USC Students for Life told The College Fix, campus officials were unwilling to compromise on a way that would have allowed an altered version of their banners to be hung.
In April, banners featuring growing fetuses were hung on Trousdale light posts on behalf of USC Students for Life after the group gained approval – but the banners were swiftly taken down just a few hours after they were hoisted, with administrators saying they were approved “in error.”
Now campus officials plan to require all Trousdale lightpost banner reservations be sponsored by an academic department before they can be approved, USC Students for Life told The College Fix in an email. This was not a requirement prior to the April kerfuffle.
“Recently, the co-presidents of USC Students for Life met with a representative of USC Student Affairs to discuss the banner controversy and to try to work things out through a face to face conversation,” the group stated in its email. “During the meeting, we were informed there was no way our banners could be replaced this semester and additionally, the school will be rewriting the Trousdale banner policy over the summer.”
“The new policy will be to require all Trousdale lightpost banner reservations to be sponsored by an academic department before they can be approved.”
When The College Fix reached out to USC to ask about planned revisions, its officials simply replied with a statement issued in April that read in part: “We are working with the student group to find other means of communicating their message, as they do regularly here and at other universities. We respect students’ constitutional right to free speech and only impose reasonable time, place and manner regulations.”
The banners had aimed to promote USC Students for Life’s final project of the semester: a baby shower for a local pregnancy resource center. The student organization went through all the proper administrative channels to ensure their banner project was in accordance with school policy.
But only hours after their banners were hung, USC administrators decided the images did not comply with school policy and would need to be taken down immediately.
Cynthia Tucker of USC’s Trojan Event Services claimed after the banners were removed that the students had needed to include the date of the event the signs intended to promote, though she had initially told USC Students for Life they only needed to include their organization’s name.