DU “free speech wall” gets new camera after recent racial messages

University of Denver student leaders created new guidelines for the school’s free speech wall after racially-charged messages posted earlier this year.

A message that was sprayed over the segment of DU's free speech wall that sparked controversy on campus last week. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)du; racism; wall; free speech; protest; black lives matter; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; university of denver;
A mural by "your friendly neighborhood white girl." (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) du; racism; wall; free speech; protest; black lives matter; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; university of denver;
A mural by “your friendly neighborhood white girl.” (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Using the University of Denver’s free speech wall got a little more restrictive last month after student leaders introduced new rules to respond to race-charged messages painted on the space.

DU students can no longer edit messages on the wall and are asked to sign their name. A camera was also added to monitor people posting on the wall that’s intended to be a spot where people express themselves openly, according to a letter obtained by Denverite on Monday.

The letter sent from student government officials last month states, “These guidelines are not intended to restrict free expression; rather they are a means through which we can continue to thrive as an inclusive community with a shared value system and many varied viewpoints.”

In late September, a string of race-related messages appeared on the wall. Someone wrote, “White People. Do Something. — #BlackLivesMatter.” Later, another person crossed out “white” and “black” so the sign basically read, “People. Do Something. — LivesMatter.”

Later a message on the wall quoted the lyrics, “I’m sorry for something I didn’t do — Lynched somebody but I didn’t know who.” Under that, “Guilty of being white. Guilty of being right.”

On Oct. 7, student government leaders decided to temporarily cover the wall. The space was “revived” Oct. 16, according to the letter.

“We have not had any further issues with the messaging on the wall,” DU spokesman Jon Stone said Monday.

Letter from DU student leaders:

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia covers business and trends for Denverite. He's covered business for The Fort Collins Coloradoan and serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.