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Excessive Postering Unfair to Others

I am writing to express my concern over an incident which took place last night (March 14) in the Infinite Corridor. As I was walking down the corridor, I observed an individual stapling orange posters to the various bulletin boards.

This would not normally catch my attention except that this individual was covering fairly large areas of some of the boards with his posters, apparently in complete disregard for any other posters he was covering up. The posters having caught my attention, I read one and discovered it was announcing GAMIT's protest of the alleged incident of assault with ketchup.

I turned to the individual doing the postering and politely reminded him he was in violation of the Institute's postering policy. This policy allows only one poster per event per board and does not allow the covering of other posters. He replied, "Lot's of people violate the postering policy when they put up moving notices."

While the alleged assault against GAMIT's Lobby 10 table is completely unacceptable, and while I fully support GAMIT's right to hold a protest "action," and while I also fully support GAMIT's right to advertise this event, frankly I find such blatant disregard for Institute policy to be troubling. The postering policy is meant to assure equal and fair access to the limited space available to all members of the MIT community.

It is true that many people do violate the postering policy and thus infringe on others' rights to be heard via their posters. However, this is the first time I have ever actually seen someone in the act of violating the policy. More importantly, it seems extremely hypocritical to me that anyone in the very act of protesting an infringement of their rights would blatantly infringe on the rights of others to any degree.

This is not to suggest that covering up a poster is of the same caliber as physical assault. However, I would suggest that both acts spring from the same callous mind set, a disregard of others' rights. Until a basic respect for others' rights - whether personal, property, or otherwise - is instilled into each member of society, we cannot hope to eliminate the myriad of problems that stem from its absence.

In closing I would like to ask the posterer I met to rethink his justification for infringing on others' rights to be heard. I certainly hope that just because "lot's of people" are bigoted that doesn't make bigotry right.

Charles C. Hardy '95