Written by the statue of the Jesuit martyrs.
“Demonstrations are permitted on campus so long as they are peaceful, orderly, lawful, and congruent with the Community Standards.”
Hmm, the community standards permit demonstrations as long as they are permitted by the community standards. Who wrote this, George Orwell or Dolores Umbridge?
Maybe some background would help you understand our perspective. Well, we were in El Salvador in the 1980s, doing political work on behalf of the lower classes at Central American University. Let us tell you, there was no restrictive demonstration policy there! That’s why the government labeled the school “a refuge of subversives.” Then they had us murdered by a military squad trained and funded by the U.S. Army! Wow, in a weird way, Ronald Reagan killed us. We’ve never thought of it that way before!
Just kidding, we think about that every day.
And now we’re present in a sculpture on the lawn in front of the Information Commons. We think we’re a rather attractive sculpture, wouldn’t you agree? Well, we can’t take the credit — the sculptor made it — and God made her — so in a way … Ah, listen to us! We could, and will, literally go on like this forever.
But here’s something that we simply can’t let go of: Right in front of our freakin’ stone face, Loyola University Chicago has a policy that hinders the kind of democratic resistance that we’re supposed to be a symbol for.
Let us tell you, when the organizers of last week’s demonstration were worried that they were going to be arrested just because they didn’t notify the university ahead of time, that’s not a demonstration policy — that’s a demonstration restriction. What are we doing here, staring at people lounging on the grass and doing that weird thing where that guy ties that rope between the trees and walks on it. What the hell are you doing, guy? Are you majoring in Circus Studies? As you can tell, it really baffles us.
Listen, this isn’t just a case of “Well, if it’s so important to you, then fill out the form and do your demonstration.” These layers of bureaucracy (beau-rock-racy! Haha, because we’re made out of stone!) are always used to hinder democracy. Forms get “lost,” and emails get “missed.” The police squad that is there to “keep everyone safe” suddenly decides the air quality is too low that day and everyone has to go inside, or the taser quantity is going to get really high. Remember when you let them have tasers? You dumb-dumbs.
Three business days in advance? Give us a break. No use of amplified sound? Give us a break. No disrupting the operations of the university? Break us off a piece of that KitKat Bar!
Safety is the policy’s raison d’être. Oh, man, wouldn’t we have loved some safety. It’s funny, though, how huge demonstrations tend to be safe until the guardians of security and safety show up! It’s almost as if their presence is intended to provoke violence! It’s funny, the way you see things from up in heaven, I guess. We tried to have a demonstration up here last week, and God was like, “You don’t have to ask my permission, go right ahead!” But then we realized, eh it’s heaven, there’s really nothing to protest.
But I guess it’s nice to have a little “freedom zone” like the North Damen lawn, where your rights are unimpeded, provided you reserve the space beforehand. It’s funny, though, we can’t actually see that lawn from here at all, what with the visual impediment of that multi-million dollar gym for your volleyball players to enlarge their muscles in. From what I read, Ignatius was pretty buff, but … you know, this is a totally separate issue for another day!
To conclude: Black lives matter.
Brian Bennett (talkingtobrian [at] gmail [dot] com), a recent English graduate of Loyola University Chicago, wrote this satirical piece.