Students at Georgia Southern University were confronted by school staff and campus police last week while recruiting members for the Turning Point USA student group on campus. Staff told the conservative students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech at the public university, and then proceeded to call the police when the students did not leave the public grounds. An administrator at Georgia Southern University (GSU) told students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech within the confines of the school’s designated “free speech zone,” a specific area on campus that school claims is approved for exercising free speech, as long as the space is reserved in advance. The students, who were recruiting members for their Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter, decided not to leave an outdoor area on campus after GSU staff had requested for them to do so, resulting in the police being called as a last-ditch effort to force the students to comply with the school’s perplexing demand. The apparent intimidation tactic, however, was futile, as the TPUSA students filmed their interaction with the officers, who admitted on video that they could not legally arrest the students for exercising free speech at the publicly-funded university, as seen in a report by Campus Reform. “If we do not leave, will we get arrested?” one individual can be heard asking a police officer. “No,” responded one officer. “Well, now, you will be judicially referred,” added the officer. “What does that mean?” inquired a student. “That means you’ll go in front of the Dean of Students for violating Georgia Southern policy,” responded the officer, suggesting that while the police cannot punish students for exercising their free speech rights on public grounds, the university can. “They’re telling me you’re breaking policies, school policies,” added the officer, “But if you’re asking me about laws, which is mainly what I do here, I don’t know of any laws you’re breaking.”
To see the video of this encounter, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above. It is hard to imagine that publicly funded colleges and universities, students hare bullied for simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights. Unreal..