During the past two days, two major rallies intended to generate talks about peace and tolerance were canceled. A lack of security was the main reason cited. Organizations and administration alike should have spent more time delineating what would be required and/or needed in order for these rallies to take place at USF.
But because of a lack of communication and misunderstandings, both potentially beneficial events are postponed. The university should explicate a specific standard of rules for future events that have the potential of getting large and possibly out of hand. Organizations need to know what preparation will be needed, as well as the amount of funding needed in order to hold their events.
The Peace Rally scheduled for Thursday was postponed due to the 250-300 people expected to attend, in addition to the promise of several war veterans attending to protest the event. With that many people expected, the Coalition of Progressive Student Organizations was grossly underprepared to handle any situations that may have gone awry had the event taken place.
The administration was right to advise the organizations to postpone their events, but better communication could have kept the events on schedule. The “From Emotion to Education” interreligious dialogue session scheduled today was also postponed. Perhaps it was thought that more people would attend than expected. Combined with the peace rally’s cancellation, and with the university already in a heightened state of security, it would not be prudent to proceed with such volatile events without proper planning.
As the groups reorganize their events, the administration should take an active role in defining what security will be needed so that students on campus have an opportunity to voice their opinions about peace, tolerance and general feelings concerning the Sept. 11 attacks.