UMass Boston: Support, don't punish, student engagement and activism

On November 1st, representatives of the UMass Boston administration and Undergraduate Student Government froze the funds of the UMass Boston International Socialist Organization and requested its membership appear before a meeting for further disciplinary action. Among student government's accusations include “posting violations” and “mismanagement of funds”. (See http://www.scribd.com/doc/112625541/Summons-by-the-UMB-Student-Government-Administration) We as the UMass Boston ISO feel these attacks on our ability to organize are politically motivated. As one of the few groups of political activists on campus, we have been centrally involved in all the major fights against the creeping privatization of UMass Boston. In the past, we have had our actions on campus scrutinized and have been victims of police harassment directly related to our UMass Boston organizing. We are calling upon students, staff, faculty, and allies. If you support free speech, student political engagement, and a diverse exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom, please sign the petition below. -------------------------------------------------- Let it be resolved that: As an institution of learning, the university should encourage students to be engaged with current events. The current inflexible policies for student organization funding limit students from organizing events based on quickly-changing political situations. We petition for more flexible funding policies. As a commuter campus, the university should encourage student involvement. On a campus of over 15,000 commuting students, student clubs and organizations should not be limited to less than 100 posters to advertise their events and meetings. We petition for policies that remove or substantially increase this posting limit. As an institution based on the free exchange of discussion, the university should allow and encourage a wide variety of political ideas. We feel that these attacks against the UMass Boston International Socialist Organization (ISO) are part of a disturbing trend of narrowing the realm of “acceptable” ideas. We petition for the attacks by the administration against any and all political activists to cease immediately – specifically those directed at the ISO. We petition all funding, organizational abilities and posting rights to be immediately reinstated to the UMass Boston ISO. Sincerely, The undersigned

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