The president of the University of Central Arkansas demanded the removal of a Lady Gaga quote from a library signboard. The Torreyson Library used the Lady Gaga quote in celebration of Pride Month.
Staff at the Arkansas university regularly update the signboard outside the library with news and other information.
“Being gay is like glitter. It never goes away.” Lady Gaga
In this case, the sign also included a link to the library’s resource guide to LGBTQ issues.
Staff then included a photo of the sign, and the link to the library’s Facebook page.
The library Facebook page declares the institution’s ethos of inclusion.
It speaks of a dedication “to maintaining a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”
“We value the needs, cultures, abilities, and experiences of all individuals, encouraging civility and open discourse in our facilities, collections, services, and people.”
University president orders sign removed
The university president, however, ordered the sign removed after just one day.
Houston Davis argued the sign crossed boundaries and ignored the presence of children on campus during summer.
“We do have to be very careful that we walk the fine line between individual freedom of speech and institutional voice.”
He spoke of the university’s responsibility to be “very mindful of the hundreds of minors that are on campus during the summer.”
He said that “further complicates an environment… normally programmed for adults and our very meaningful conversations about ourselves and our world.”
Library leaves sign blank in protest
Library staff then posted their response to the instruction to remove the Gaga quote.
“We decided to leave it blank for the remainder of June.”
Students, faculty, and alumni headed straight the library’s Facebook page to voice their displeasure.
Rachel Wynne McAdams said, “Thank you for advocating for this “personal viewpoint” that affects the lives of so many people.”
Rachel pointed out with trans people murdered daily and kids taking their own lives “institutions, like universities, are in many cases, LIFE SAVING. Creating space on campus for “the other” is never something that should be seen as advancing a personal agenda.
“I applaud the library.
“I’m ashamed of the administration, but not at all surprised.”
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