After University Department of Public Safety officers told Defend Affirmative Action Party candidates they could not set up their table on the Diag yesterday afternoon, they took the request literally.
Rather than leave, Michigan Student Assembly representative candidates Cyril Cordor and Neal Lyons chose to carry the table on their shoulders for the remainder of the afternoon.
According to the officers, the party did not have the area reserved through the Office of Student Activities and Leadership.
“They told us to keep our table off the ground, so that”s exactly what we”ll do,” said DAAP vice-presidential candidate Jessica Curtin.
The Michigan Party and Blue Party also had campaign structures set up, but only the Michigan Party was allowed to remain because they had previously registered to use the space.
Only three groups at a time are allowed to register space on the Diag.
“There should be as many student groups out here as possible,” Curtin said. “It would be great if it could look like Festifall every day.”
DAAP members said they were outraged.
“It”s absurd that on our Diag we have to go through all this to make our voice be heard,” said LSA sophomore Agnes Aleobua. “What is this, freedom of speech for the first three people that come?”
“It”s clear that the administration cares more about their policies than student”s rights,” said Lyons, an LSA sophomore.
The Blue Party was asked to move the “house” they had erected next to the Diag for the same reasons.
“DPS said we could have it on the grass as long as it was out of the way of students walking, but now Grounds is telling us to move it,” said LSA sophomore Sarah Ray.
“They should have told us this before we spent five hours out here building it,” said LSA junior Dani Gatewood.
DPS Officer Joseph Anderson spoke to DAAP and the Blue Party.
“We”re not making anybody leave,” he said. “It”s a University policy issue.”
LSA sophomore Nicole Matti was also on the Diag at that time passing out purple ribbons for Students Against Violence Everywhere. She was allowed to remain because she did not have a table.
“I”m just hoping the police officer wouldn”t come and tell me to stop being nonviolent,” Matti said.
Candidates from several parties said they did not agree with the University policy of only three groups on the Diag at a time.
“I don”t think the cancer people should have to leave just because DAAP wants to be on the Diag,” said Michigan Party presidential candidate Doug Tietz.