Rally coming back to Beardshear?

Tracy Deutmeyer

Four student organizations are going back to Beardshear Hall to hold a second rally to show support for members of The September 29th Movement.

The Second Wave, a student group formed with the support of four student organizations “to defend the First Amendment,” will seek permission today from the university to hold a second rally at Beardshear Hall, called “Town Meeting II: A First Amendment Speak-In.”

The Second Wave’s spokeswoman, Lisa Hermsen, a graduate student in English, said if the group receives permission, the rally will take place on Feb. 17 at noon in the Beardshear lobby.

She said the group will follow the same procedures members of The September 29th Movement followed when they tried unsuccessfully to get a permit for an unauthorized Nov. 5 rally.

“The provost said there has not been a precedent for a student rally at Beardshear because he said Beardshear is the place where administrative work needs to be completed,” Hermsen said. “That is the very reason students’ voices should be heard at Beardshear, perhaps the loudest.”

The Second Wave includes members from the Asian-American Awareness Coalition, the Graduate English Association, the Black Student Alliance and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance. Organizers said they will ask for a permit this afternoon.

The rally will not be held if university officials refuse to authorize it, organizers said. Hermsen said group members are willing to work with the Department of Public Safety and the Dean of Students Office to secure a permit.

The first rally was an unauthorized gathering sponsored by The September 29th Movement. Several members of The Movement have since been sanctioned by the university for their parts in the rally.

Movement members appealed the sanctions to the All-University Judiciary Tuesday.

Hermsen said, “We can’t talk about diversity until we talk about dialogue.”

Hermsen said she doesn’t know how many students will participate in the Feb. 17 rally.

John Anderson, interim director of university relations, said there are certain channels of communication campus organizations must go through before a permit is issued.

“It’s premature for me to comment on the situation, but we would hope they would seek authorization through the proper channels,” Anderson said.

Hermsen said five Movement members who received conduct probation from the Office of Judicial Affairs will not participate in the speak-in.