Student Government Association Response to Political Graffiti

The Student Government Association is the first branch of the Berry College administration to give an official response to the political graffiti on campus.

Courtney Fox, Viking Fusion News Producer

The Student Government Association of Berry College has released their statement on the political graffiti written across the sidewalks in front of McAllister on Oct. 31. This is not the first time sidewalks on campus have been used as a public forum for free speech, but the latest chalkings have included words that many students have found offensive. The threatening speech has sparked a debate on both social media and at the most recent SGA meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1. So far SGA is the only administrative branch of Berry to release an official statement.

“At tonight’s SGA meeting, a discussion on free speech was prompted by the sidewalk chalkings drawn outside of McAllister Hall. As it stands, chalking is viewed as an expression of freedom of speech on campus. Chalkings that are threats of violence or profane will be removed from sidewalks.

In light of the tense political climate across the country, it is only natural that the campaign and political rhetoric that pervades the news and media has reached our campus as well. We urge students that this is an opportunity to amplify your freedom of speech rather than restricting it. Berry is proudly inclusive and encouraging of diversity. These sidewalk chalkings do not reflect Berry. They reflect the incredibly contentious political climate we are faced with in this election year. SGA encourages you to be active and to counter speech to which you disagree with more speech.

The Executive Team understands the concerns over these chalkings and takes this seriously. Disagreements are only natural and bound to occur on any campus. However, we must handle this as Berry students as opposed to how the rest of the nation handles political discourse.

Do not let chalk writings, social media, or even a presidential race overshadow the incredible sense of community, compassion, and respect that attracted us all to Berry.”

– Student Government Association 2016-2017 Executive Team

Leave a Reply