Block Graphic and Disruptive Abortion Imagery from Western Kentucky University's Campus
Western Kentucky University's campus is one of the most beautiful in the commonwealth, providing for an encouraging and productive environment for students to learn and grow. As part of their education, students are guaranteed a harassment and disruption-free zone in which to engage in academic pursuits during their years here. During the week of October 15th (Homecoming week for WKU) a graphic and disturbing display was placed on a heavily trafficked part of the campus. Showing oversized, graphic pictures of abortion procedures and their aftermath, it provided for a large disruption to the student body at WKU. Instead of focusing on the upcoming positive events of the homecoming festivities, the local media instead chose to report on the protest, and there were incidents of students becoming physically ill after walking past the display. Students were seen becoming upset and disturbed by the images on their campus, which they could not escape due to it's proximity to residence hall buildings. It has come to our attention that a similar style display has been planned for the dates of March 6th and 7th this year. Due to the effects on campus life of the last protest (students becoming sick, angry, and generally disturbed) we are asking the campus administration to not allow this installation to be placed at Western Kentucky University. We absolutely and undeniably believe in the 1st amendment right to free speech, but when free speech becomes disruptive to the academic living and learning community created for the students at the university, certain actions must be taken to ensure a welcoming environment for all people. Freedom of speech can not override someone else's right to live in a harassment free environment. We request only that the placard pictures be removed from the display, while the speakers may continue with their planned messages that day. My goal is to reach a large enough portion of the campus population that the administration will recognize our best interests and engage in dialogue about potential solutions to this situation.