Political signs run afoul of Mesa State’s policies
When Mesa State College sophomores Anna Johnson and Jenna Creighton decided to display political signs in their dorm windows, they never thought the college would give them an ultimatum to take them down.
Johnson said her resident adviser told her Tuesday night her sign for Republican John McCain and Creighton’s sign for Democrat Barack Obama violated college policy and had to be removed.
“I think that’s kind of against the First Amendment,” Creighton said.
Johnson said she, Creighton and her other roommates in Grand Mesa Residence Hall were threatened with disciplinary action if they did not remove their signs.
Dana Nunn, spokeswoman for Mesa State, said the college does not allow students to post political signs in dorm windows but does allow political materials to be posted inside a room.
“The reasoning behind it is (the dorm) is state-owned property,” Nunn said. “We can’t appear as an institution to be endorsing particular candidates, and that could be interpreted that way.”
Nunn said student groups are permitted to hand out campaign materials in the common areas of the campus.
She said the rule disallowing dorm-window signage is in the student-housing handbook and has been in place for at least 13 years.
Creighton said the college’s policy is ridiculous. She said no one will happen by her dorm window in the Grand Mesa Residence Hall and think the college is endorsing Obama or McCain.
“If you rent an apartment, they can’t tell you what you can hang up,” Creighton said. “This is like an apartment to us.”
She said she and Johnson do not plan to take the signs down.