Koala issue reappears

    The Koala issue titled “”Jizzlam: an entertainment magazine for the Islamic man,”” first distributed in June, made its second appearance on the UCSD campus on Oct. 14. Stacks of the publication were handed out on Library Walk from about 10:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., when Koala members were asked by the administration to stop due to a “”time, place and manner”” violation.

    Anna MacMurdo/Guardian
    Keeping watch: UCSD Police Officer Kristeen McCollough looks on as Koala members re-distribute the publication’s June issue on Library Walk on Oct. 14.

    Dozens of students and passersby gathered around the wheeled cart employed by the distributors, some arguing with Koala members over the content of the publication. UCSD campus police officers supervised throughout the time of distribution, and campus officials, including Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson and Director of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs Nicholas S. Aguilar, paid visits to the scene.

    “”I agree with freedom of speech, but the fact is that this is pure hate,”” said Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore Imam Novin. “”No one’s laughing, it’s not a joke, everyone’s fighting, everyone’s threatening each other and the school has done nothing about it.””

    Koala editor-in-chief Bryan Barton, who was among those distributing the issue to passersby, said that the Koala wanted to distribute its remaining copies before it moved on to the next issue.

    Anna MacMurdo/Guardian
    Reactions: Several students tore up copies of The Koala’s “”Jizzlam”” issue, which had incited condemnation from the A.S. Council and UCSD officials in June.

    “”We came down here today because it’s the beginning of the school year and we wanted to give the freshman a chance to see the different comedy publications on campus,”” Barton said. “”It’s just humor ‹ there’s no seriousness at all ‹ and we’re looking forward to offending our next group of people with our next issue of the Koala.””

    He also said that he had contacted the campus police prior to the distribution for safety reasons.

    “”People in the Koala have been beaten in their home, gotten death threats, stuff like that, and we felt the police presence here might stop physical altercations from happening,”” Barton said.

    UCSD Police Officer Kristeen McCollough said that, to the police department’s knowledge, the Koala was allowed to print and hand out the issue.

    “”We don’t want either side’s emotions to overwhelm them to the point of getting themselves in trouble and that’s why we’re here,”” she said. “”To keep the peace, literally.””

    Earl Warren College junior Sherin Rashedi asked present students to sign an improvised petition asking the A.S. Council to discontinue the Koala’s funding.

    “”Let’s not use the First Amendment as a shelf for blind hate and racism,”” Rashedi said. “”It’s Islam Awareness Week at UCSD, and the re-distribution of the Koala’s ŒJizzlam’ issue was an attempt to let a certain group know they are not wanted or welcome on this campus.””

    Other students present vocalized their concern over the target of the Koala issue.

    “”You don’t print sixteen pages of things that are going to hurt a specific group of people without saying you have something against them,”” Revelle College junior Tess Meissner said. “”And I don’t feel my tuition should go toward this.””

    John Muir College senior Sina Shayesteh echoed the sentiment.

    “”If I knew this was going to be happening on my campus, I would not have come to this school,”” Shayesteh said. “”I’m very concerned for the girls who are wearing the hijab, which is the scarf, about how the campus is going to take this. The people who read this, they’re going to look at them differently.””

    The Koala wheeled the cart back toward the Student Center, where its office is located, once Aguilar notified them that they were in violation of the “”time, place and manner policy,”” because they had not registered to be distributing on Library Walk, which is a designated programming space.

    “”They did not have permission to have that wheel structure in this area, and that was all that I was asking,”” said Aguilar, who was notified of the occurrence by a phone call. “”Obviously they were causing some disruption, but that was not my primary concern.””

    Aguilar said if they had obtained prior approval for the space and posed no threat to the health and safety of students, or of damaging property, “”they would still be here.””

    While Aguilar was explaining the Koala’s rights to a group of students on Library Walk, Barton, after having wheeled away the publications, came back to accost Aguilar, calling him a “”tyrant.””

    “”You go around shutting down the Che Café, you go around shutting down the Web site UCSDuncensored, you go around shutting down the Koala,”” he said. “”You’re Stalin; you’re that kind of guy.””

    Aguilar replied that it was within Barton’s rights to express his views.

    Although stacks of copies remained in the cart when it was wheeled away, no further distribution of the publication was witnessed on Oct. 15.

    The Koala’s first distribution of the issue in June had elicited a letter from Watson to the campus condemning “”Jizzlam,”” as well as a resolution by the A.S. Council equally condemning the issue.

    The Koala is a registered student organization that, similar to other registered media, receives funding from the A.S. Council.

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