SJP Loyola demands demonstration policy be abolished
The Students for Justice in Palestine Chapter at Loyola released a statement Monday in solidarity with Loyola Black Voices demanding that the university abolish its demonstration policy.
The statement stated that Loyola University has “a policy dictating that all demonstrations on campus must be registered with the administration at least 3 days in advance, that organizers must meet with administrators in advance to discuss their plans, and that no amplified audio may be used.” Further stating that this policy puts a limit on free speech that does not exist at other universities and violations of this policy are unequally enforced by the university administration.
SJP Loyola’s statement comes after Loyola Black Voices members who organized a protest were charged by the administration for violating that policy, despite over 700 students and staff participating in the demonstration. However, after pressure from civil rights organizations the charges were dropped.
Administrators originally promised not to punish anyone involved with organizing the demonstration, which was held in solidarity with Black students at the University of Missouri. However, three Black students, were charged with violating the demonstration policy, according to Palestine Legal.
The students, who are all members of SJP Loyola, faced suspension, before the charges were ultimately dropped. Even though Palestine Legal “applauds” Loyola’s decision not to discipline the students, it believes “it exposes concerns that LUC applies its rules selectively and unfairly.”
Last year SJP Loyola faced similar charges from Loyola’s administration for organizing a demonstration outside a table promoting Taglit birthright trips. The organization was swiftly put on probation for the remainder of the semester and forced to attend “dialogue training session.” Palestine Legal, which represented SJP Loyola, issued a statement Tuesday calling on the university to apologize to the group for its “unfair and selective enforcement of the demonstration policy.”
Loyola administrators have also threatened to go after members from USpeak and Students for Worker Justice who organized a protest demanding that the demonstration policy be removed and that workers at the university be paid a living wage.