SMU reverses policy for on-campus displays after controversy over 9/11 memorial

SMU reverses policy for on-campus displays after controversy over 9/11 memorial

A statement from the university states one-day demonstrations on the lawn will be held on the north side, while three-day demonstrations or memorials will be held on the south side.

Southern Methodist University now says it won't move displays, including almost 3,000 American flags to honor September 11 victims, to another lawn on campus that students say has less foot traffic.

Young Americans had not commented on the university's reversal late Wednesday but said it planned to issue a joint statement with other organizations, including the university's Democratic and Republican student groups.

From now on, one-day displays sponsored by student organizations or SMU departments will continue to take place on the northern section of the Dallas Hall Lawn, the site that traditionally has been used for displays.

'I thank the students from across campus who came together in the spirit of mutual respect and civil discourse to achieve this outcome, ' said SMU President Turner. "Students have expressed their commitment to freedom of expression - a value the University shares".

An uproar ensued. YAF and an amalgam of other student groups, representing a variety of political leanings, rallied on behalf of the First Amendment.

SMU has changed its mind and will not relocate its annual 9/11 memorial.

They didn't want the memorial moved from Dallas Hall for a few reasons, one of them being it's where students met after the events of 9/11 almost 16 years ago.

The university apologized for the "inappropriate wording" in the emailed policy and removed references to "triggering or harmful messages", although SMU upheld the prohibitive memorial display policy.

However, the decision was roundly denounced and condemned by students, alumni, donors and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Instead, the SMU president responded by asserting the governor was given "wrong" information about the university's display policy.

But the university announced late Wednesday they are reversing that decision and will allow Young Americans For Freedom to post almost 3,000 American flags on the Dallas Hall Lawn to honor those killed by the Muslim terrorists.

'I don't believe it's the responsibility of the university to shield individuals from certain ideas that they might be offended by, ' said Grant Wolf, the leader of the Young Americans for Freedom group, according to Dallas News.



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