Oregon College Conservatives Slam Portland State University For Declining ‘Murder-Free Zone’ Proposal, Calling It ‘Libelous’

July 15, 2015

By Hanna Sanchez at iSchoolGuide

Officials at Portland State University in Oregon have turned down a college conservative group’s proposal to set up a table on campus to promote the idea of a “murder-free zone.” The idea is an extension of the “gun free zones” on campus, as well as in buildings in Portland.

School officials feared that the group’s efforts could promote violence against them. Christian Bripschgi, the political director of Portland State’s College Republican Federation chapter, said university officials said the propopsal could be “triggering,” and “libelous.”

The group, as well as First Amendment advocates, said school officials should review the Constitution, Alexandra Hennessey of FoxNews.com reported.

“In the murder-free zone we were looking to create, nobody will be killed with guns, knives, sticks, or anything of the sort,” said Bripschgi.

Bripschgi wrote about his campaign in an article for The College Fix. He thought getting the school’s permission to set up a table will be “as easy as renting a library book.”

“Our advisor signed off on our proposal quickly at first but became skeptical after she saw the nature of the content,” he said.

Portlant State officials did not comment on the issue, even after several requests from FoxNews.com.

Peter Bonilla, the director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Individual Rights Defense Program, said the school’s finding on the college conservative group’s idea was “ludicrous.”

“It is insulting to students to assume that if one sees the word “murder,” they might be sent off into a violent range,” he said.

Bonilla added that the university’s attempt to prevent triggers comes from a larger debate between higher education officials to address sexual violence.

“This can be seen as an outgrowth of the wider concerns we have seen from Title 9,” he said. “In the case of the students at Portland State, there is nothing other than language policing taking place.”

Bripschgi said he will keep pushing for free speech on campus.

“College is a place where ideas collide, and the administration should be there to foster an environment where that can take place,” Bripschgi said.

Schools: Portland State University