Hot debate marks first UA meeting
September 13, 1990, 5:00 am·
Prompted by charges that the University suspended Open Expression guidelines during Ronald Reagan's Peak Week speech, the Undergraduate Assembly last night debated demanding guarantees that the guidelines will never again be suspended. The resolution, which was tabled until the next meeting, stemmed from a May 17 incident in which two University students alledgedly scuffled with non-University security guards at former President Reagan's speech. The students were charged with resisting arrest. One still faces charges. Three other students were evicted from the speech for carrying anti-Reagan placards. College senior Sloan Wiesen, who submitted the resolution, said that Open Expression guidelines were suspended immediately prior to Reagan's speech. He said that Sol Goodgal, the acting chairperson of the Open Expression Committee, suspended the guidelines without consulting other members of the committee. Wiesen was one of the three students who carried placards. The UA resolution calls for the University to adopt a policy mandating that any guest speaker and accompanying security forces must abide by University Open Expression guidelines. But in an intense and sometimes confused debate, several UA members rejected the idea that Open Expression should never be suspended. Several amendments were added to the resolution. Wiesen said that he was "upset" with the amendments, since they diluted the intent of his proposal. "The purpose is to ensure that everyone's rights are protected and these rights cannot be suspended," he said. In other business, the UA unanimously passed a resolution "deploring" the actions of a Baltimore Alumni Association which had intended to hold an alumni function at a Baltimore county country club that is said to discriminate against blacks and jews. The event was canceled after the Alumni Relations Office intervened. Both the Alumni Association handbook and the University's Harassment Policy prohibit alumni-sponsored events to be held in an "intimidating environment." College senior Dan Singer, who sponsored the proposal, said that he was not surprised the resolution passed without debate. "I wouldn't expect anyone on UA or at the University to be in favor of racial or religious discrimination," said Singer, a Baltimore resident. And during introductory remarks at the meeting, UA Chairperson Duchess Harris said that one issue at the "top of the UA agenda" is to split the position of Judicial Inquiry Officer. "It is not a personal attack on Constance Goodman," Harris said.