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DASB endorses De Anza College democracy wall2 min read

Brittani Maher

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The DASB senate endorsed further steps for the construction of a democracy wall, a public board on which the community can share political views on campus. Details of the wall’s construction, including funding, are yet to be decided.

Student trustee and VIDA representative Hayman Wong, 20, political science major, presented the idea to the DASB on May 16, seeking their endorsement. “Students should have one place to express their concerns on campus,” Wong said.

Wong said VIDA wants the democracy wall so political activists like herself can find out about events, and to provide a platform for students and the De Anza community as a whole to get informed on current events.

Cynthia Kaufman, director of VIDA, said the democracy wall would not tolerate hate speech and she or members of the DASB would watch over the board to prevent posting of hate speech and advertisements.

While few details about the construction of the wall have been decided, it is projected to be a  bulletin board open for public posting. The wall is estimated to cost around $1000, with funding from DASB or yet undetermined alternative source.

“I don’t see a problem with it,” said Alex Villalpando, 25, German major. The DASB expressed concern, citing past acts of hate speech on campus, but Villalpando said, “hate speech should not be an eliminating factor.”

Kaufman wants students to steer away from online platforms and focus on physical political posts and discussions that are put on the wall. “There’s not enough of that in the physical world,” Kaufman said.

“It’s important for people to have places to share ideas and get a sense that other people have ideas of issues that matter.”

Trene Chung, 21, business administration major, likes the idea of being able to post your own thoughts. “Positive and negative, should have their own thoughts,” Chung said.

Kaufman also hopes the wall would help students become more involved with political issues and to broadcast free speech.

“The practice of living in a democracy is having these differences and being civil and thoughtful of each other about it,” she said. “I would hope that it would be a place where people can learn how to do that.”

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