Hope Over Hate Expressive Activity Campaign
March 2, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
This month, the Dean of Students’ Office and the Lowman Student Center (LSC) are launching a new campaign titled “Hope Over Hate” to inform Sam Houston State University students about expressive activity on campus.
On March 22, the university will host Bearkats Express on the LSC Yard from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event is built around the idea of informing the campus community about ways to remain productive and intentional with spreading the message of hope over hate. According to Rob Webber, director of the LSC, the idea came from interactive and informative meetings with student groups on campus.
“Part of our role and responsibility in the LSC is to help our students figure out productive ways to get out a more positive message. While meeting with students about it, I brought up the idea of hope over hate, and the students really responded,” Webber said. “I think it has really blossomed from that meeting. We are working to develop this campaign from that idea, because there are ways to counteract the messaging that some of our campus visitors bring to the yard area. I really see this as our responsibility to help students take control of the messaging.”
Hope over hate messaging will soon be seen all over campus, including the LSC. Chelsea Smith, dean of students, emphasized the importance of protecting students and their space to express themselves while keeping the home-away-from-home atmosphere the LSC provides.
“The majority of our students spend time in the yard or the LSC when they are on campus. These are the places that they go to relax and have a ‘brain break,’” Smith said. “That is why we will be hosting the events in these spaces so students can see those messages that we are here to support them. We want it to be a welcoming space. It is about educating our students on civil discourse. SHSU supports free speech and that does not have to conflict with creating an environment of inclusivity and belonging.”
Information about the university’s efforts to further educate Bearkats about freedom of expression is available on the expressive activity website.
“Resources have been redesigned so that students can find what they need quickly through the website,” Smith said. “Students can find resources to start a student organization, to become part of the student government association, or to reserve a space on campus. Those are the positive things that can happen where there is already built-in advocacy.”
Anyone can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. To learn about the First Amendment and to continue to work together to build a campus culture that values, embraces, and celebrates differences, visit shsu.edu/expressiveactivity.
State legislation requires public institutions to establish policies that support expressive activity. Below are a few highlights of the Expressive Activity Policy which are applicable to all students, faculty, staff, and campus guests.
Reservations – Outdoor areas (grounds) available for reservation for expressive activity events:
- LSC Yard (formerly known as the Mall and Bearkat Plaza)
- Old Main Pit
- Farrington Pit
- Walker Education Gazebo
To reserve space - https://shsu.emscloudservice.com/web/
Amplified Sound – The use of amplified sound is permitted with an approved reservation and is limited to specified hours at each designated outdoor area.
To reserve sound - https://shsu.emscloudservice.com/web/
Off-Campus Speakers – Student, faculty, and staff requests for off-campus speakers should be made by submitting an off-campus speaker request form at least 14 business days prior to the event. This request is only for speaking engagements that are open to the public. Requests do not have to be made for classroom guests, internal meetings, or student organization membership meetings.
Violations/Reporting – You may report an expressive activity policy violation using one of the following methods.
Student Reports – https://shsu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8J6MkflphR5ExTg
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