Student letter voices displeasure with planned SDS protest

Flyers have been posted around campus advertising the planned walk out. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

USF’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) is planning a walkout protest to be held outside of Cooper Hall at 1 p.m. for inauguration on Friday.

However, not all students are in support of the event. 

A student, whose name has been redacted, sent a letter to the office of Student Affairs and the President’s Office to voice concerns over the event and ask for its cancellation.

“On January 20, (2017) we are going to have a new leader of our country,” the student wrote. “Whether we like him or not, we should not be allowing student organizations to organize walk outs. Though a beautiful part of our democracy, I am formally asking that this event be canceled or put within a venue on campus.”

The letter went on to say that not doing so would violate the Student Code of Conduct by disrupting classes within Cooper Hall. Additionally, it warns of the use of amplification, which isn’t allowed outside of Cooper, according to Dean of Students Danielle McDonald.

SDS has not mentioned anything publicly about intending or not intending to use amplification during the protest and could not be reached for comment.

Additionally, the letter also brought up concerns over advertising for the event. According to university policy, organizations must receive written permission to advertise an event using off-campus resources. The letter discussed a Facebook event page.

According to McDonald, the use of Facebook does not typically  count as off-campus advertising and wouldn’t for this particular event. 

“If this is an issue of distraction on campus, the Campus PD non-emergency line will be summoned and there will be an immediate request for the dispersal of the crowds,” the letter states. “If these needs can’t be met, there will be a request for further action including, but not limited to; tuition reimbursement for the class time missed due to violation of the USF and Florida State Statute, a request for a formal meeting with the head of the CLCE … etc.”

McDonald said she’d heard the concerns and reached out to the letter’s author with an offer to meet.

“Like any event on campus, we’ll review it for any policy infractions,” she said. “Just having an event outside of Cooper Hall is not a distraction from the learning environment.”