As the administrative “point person” in Academic Affairs regarding implementation of campus policy on free expression (see http://policy.calpoly.edu/cap/100/cap140.htm), I am writing to confirm that the anti-abortion display on Dexter Lawn appears to be protected speech under the Constitution, which is reflected in our policy. In other words, the sponsoring organization has the right to mount the display, however objectionable the content may be to some people.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the display goes well beyond the bounds of decency and exhibits a total lack of respect for our campus community. There are other ways to promote reasoned discussion about an important topic than to impose huge, unwelcome images and a one-sided message on those who have little choice but to pass by a central area of the campus or to occupy adjacent buildings. The fact that the display was evidently designed to traumatize some people who have faced extraordinarily difficult personal choices is unforgivable. I sincerely hope that the campus group which brought the display here this time (and apparently at least once before) will have the good sense and courtesy not to do so again.