Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Aug. 29, 1997

Residence hall students get second shot at door decorating

by Steve Sullivan

For the first time in five years, students living in the residence halls may post material on their doors. A new policy, in effect for fall semester, allows students to post materials on their residence hall doors and creates a process to review materials that others consider offensive.

Since fall 1992, the residence department has prohibited any materials on the outside of residence hall room doors, except for cards that identify the students in a room. This policy was developed after students and staff complained that some posted materials were threatening and demeaning to people because of their racial background, sexual orientation or gender.

"The old policy created an environment that many felt repressed free speech," said Randy Alexander, director of residence. "With this new policy, we are working to create an environment in which diverse perspectives can be expressed. At the same time, there is an opportunity to discuss openly the rights and responsibilities our students have as citizens in a democracy."

Here's how the policy works:

The new door policy will be reviewed by the Inter-Residence Hall Association during fall semester. Unless a two-thirds majority of the association approves it, the policy expires at the end of fall semester.

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