Sidewalk Censorship
by Jay Aguilera


Any student with functioning eyesight can tell you that chalking happens everywhere at UCSB. When the Obama campaign was in full swing, not one sidewalk was saved from the ravages of crayola colorful chalk. “Obama 08, vote today!,” and “Register to Vote,” lined the streets with colorful patriotism while the administration turned a blind eye to the “breach” in policy. Technically, chalking is a form of vandalism, as jaywalking is a traffic violation, but the major consensus of UCSB as a whole seems to be an indifferent “whatever.”

Lately some of the remnants of the Get-Out-The-Vote chalking still remains, idly sitting by until one of the custodians gets around to cleaning it off. Priority wise, chalking lands right before washing windows and trimming hedges on the scroll of custodial duties. It came as a major surprise to the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) when their chalking campaign to raise awareness in Gaza was promptly washed down from campus sidewalks. 

At the SJP meeting on Thursday, Jan. 8, club members discussed the situation at hand. The club believed that the controversial aspect of the chalking lead to the custodians working diligently to clean it off, some even believe the custodians were intimidated into working quickly before the noon rush so that the majority of the student body couldn’t see it. 

Technically, the campus administration has the right to maintain the campus the way it sees fit. However, when walking by the bus stop and spying the faded remains of “Obama 08” and “VOTE TODAY” while SJP’s chalking was immediately removed from the sidewalks before the morning fog lifted, I can’t help but think that the administration wanted to censor SJP’s message. These inconsistencies in the university’s policy and its actions remind us to always question the judgment passed down from the administration. 


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