Letter to the Editor – Festival Restrictions Violate Student Rights


Dear Editor,

When I was a political science student, then-professor (and now Vice Chancellor) Alan Houston assigned a book by a guy named Machiavelli. It was a cautionary tale, but apparently Houston didn’t do the reading. Houston announced a “no-host” policy will apply to the entire campus during the Sun God Festival. According to the policy, only UCSD students will be allowed in on-campus residence areas. This is blatantly unconstitutional. It violates the First Amendment’s right to free association belonging both to the on-campus residents and to their off-campus friends and family. Just imagine the consequences, and you’ll see what I mean: What if a student is dating a non-student who lives off campus? What if they’re married to someone who lives off campus? What if someone’s mom wants to visit? Houston’s policy bans them all. But it gets worse. Houston told the A.S. Council that campus policy requires students to carry their UCSD identification card at all times while on campus, not just on the day of Sun God Festival. “Show me your papers”? Seriously? When did UCSD become Arizona? Though Houston’s actions are, sadly, par for the course for UCSD, there is a silver lining. The unconstitutional tyranny of UCSD’s upper-level administrators inspired me and several of my classmates to become lawyers. Hopefully, these most recent, senseless intrusions into students’ personal lives (Again: Partners can’t sleep over on the day of Sun God Festival—are you kidding me?) will inspire a new generation of Tritons to become lawyers. With administrators like Houston, heaven knows they’re needed. 

– Daniel Watts, Esq. Alumnus ‘06