Email Messages Between Students for a Democratic Society and the Center for Student Involvement, March 22, 2011

From: Csi <>
Date: March 23, 2011 10:47:39 AM EDT
To: Lisa Grab <>
Subject: Re: Bill Ayers event

Hi Lisa-
Please don’t misunderstand, these are the requirements of any group.  Wristbands are a standard protocol, and are used at many events to keep track of numbers.  As is standard, we (the CSI staff) will bring the bands approximately 15-20 minutes prior to doors opening (so we will be there at around 7:50/7:55 as there is a class in UN1030 until 8pm).

It is not the event itself that would require additional officer, but the number of people the event is bringing.  I should have been clearer that the calls we are receiving are indicative of a large crowd coming.  We would require any organization to be responsible for additional officers regardless of the event type–anything from speakers to concerts to carnivals that may draw large numbers require additional officers, and the cost of those officers is and has always been absorbed by the sponsoring organization. We require that security to ensure that crowds are managed appropriately and safely, and to ensure that students and others are able to travel freely to their classes, etc. This is especially important Thursday as your event is in an academic building where classes will still be in session during your event.

These are standard policies for the Center for Student Involvement and student organizations, and no exceptions or special procedures are being enacted for your event on Thursday. All of our policies can be found in the CSI Handbook (wristbands are on pg. 34).

We have also reserved UN 1070 for this event if you would like to move it to that room.  1070 holds 200 people, 1030 only holds 100.  Please let us know as soon as possible.

Thank you,

—– Original Message —–
From: Lisa Grab <>
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:58 pm
Subject: Re: Bill Ayers event

To: Csi <>
Cc: [email address redacted], Mike Rombola [email address redacted], Tyson Lewis [email address redacted], Kiryl Bychkouski [email address redacted], Grover Furr [email address redacted]

> Hello CSI,
> We will follow the rules regarding the wristbands provided that
> this is how events of similar attendance are run on campus, and
> an exception is not being made for our particular event with
> regards to this rule. Please let us know where and when we can
> pick up these wristbands (preferably as soon as possible to
> ensure our members can attend). We respect the fire code and do
> not wish to create a fire hazard.
> However, we take exception to your intent to charge us for extra
> security that you claim we will need due to the controversial
> nature of our speaker, William Ayers. We are not responsible for
> any inappropriate behavior exhibited by those
> “concerned” individuals that may or may not come to
> our event. As a matter of fact, this particular nuance is in
> directly protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution,
> and has been clearly defended by legal precedent, most notably
> by supreme court case Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992). An excerpt from that case reads: “Listeners’ reaction to speech is not a content-neutral basis for
> regulation. … Speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it
> can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile
> mob.”
 This precedent has been used time and time again to dismiss government and administrative threats of increased security fees in similar cases across the country.
> You might be familiar with the fact that William Ayers delivered a speech at University of Colorado, Boulder in March 2009. The school threatened to bill the student organization in charge of the event over 2,000 for increased security. With the help of a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (an organization with an explicit mission to uphold individual rights on college campuses) the school has reversed the fees. You can read more about it here. FIRE is an organization with a long record of involvement and success in cases precisely like this one, and they are most definitely an organization that we are contacting regarding this issue, along with the ACLU.
> We request that our event be treated no different than any other event of similar venue and attendance with no special treatment due to the perceived controversial nature of the speaker. Extra security you wish to provide will not be our responsibility as we do not need/request any such security, and thus we will not bear the burden of any additional fees. Shall you choose to pursue this matter further we will not hesitate to seek legal recourse as we feel the Constitution and legal precedent are on our side.
> Regards,
> Montclair SDS

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM, Csi <> wrote:

> Hello SDS-
> We want to remind you of a few things going into Thursday’s event.  You will have at least 2 officers at the event.  You cannot open the doors to the event until a representative from CSI and UPD are present.  We will provide you with 100 wristbands (the capacity of the room).  Anyone who will be attending must have a wristband, and wristbands are not transferable (as with any event that has wristbands).  Once the wristbands are gone, no one else, regardless of their affiliation, will be permitted to enter the event.  We would advise that you make sure you hold enough bands for your members.
> Additionally, we have received a number of concerned phone calls and emails regarding this speaker, and are likely going to have University Police establish a protest area.  You will be responsible for the cost of any additional officers assigned to that area.
> We hope you have a successful event.  Please let us know if you have questions.
> Thank you,
> Center for Student Involvement
> Montclair State University
> Student Center 104
> Montclair, NJ 07043
> 973.655.7819
> 973.655.4098 fax
> Facebook:
> Twitter:


Center for Student Involvement
Montclair State University
Student Center 104
Montclair, NJ 07043
973.655.4098 fax

Schools: Montclair State University Cases: Montclair State University: Student Group Threatened with Unconstitutional Security Fee