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Recent conflict raises questions about campus flag policy
BY QUINCY MALESOVAS
The American flag: a symbol of
freedom, democracy and unity for
some. But for many Quakers, the
symbolism itself is something to be
scrutinized. The warlike spirit that it
often represents is contrary to their
beliefe of peace and pacifism.
Guilfo^ College has traditionally
prohibited the public display of flags
of any kind. However, recently, this
policy has proven to cause more
discord than harmony.
On Sept. 11, Guilford College
Republicans president Harrison
Houlihan, alongside fellow
Republican Taylor Knox, himg an
American flag off of the balcony of
"I wanted to remind students
what day it was," said Houlihan. "13
years is a long time."
They had full knowledge of the
flag policy at the time.
About four hours later, the college
removed the flag.
Houlihan proceeded to display
the flag in two different locations
off of Foimders Hall before having it
confiscated and being documented
by Public Safety.
Houlihan accepted this
consequence, hoping that his actions
would instigate a dialogue within
the Guilford community.
"The policy is clearly flawed,"
said Houlihan. ""This campus isn't a
Quaker meeting house."
Last year on the same date, the
Guilford College Republicans put
up over 2,000 small flags on campus
"When 1 was president, and
(prior to), Guilford College never
banned the American flag," said
Kent Chabotar, former president of
Despite these claims, there were
restrictions in previous years on
where a flag could be displayed.
Public spaces such as windows
were not allowed. Houlihan believes
the flags put up last year may have
flown imder the radar b^us^
removing every one would have
been more trouble that it was wtyth.
Interim Dean of Students Jennifer
Agor had a different story. She said
that the removal of Houlihan's flag
this year had nothing to do with
"They were supposed to ask
for permission to h^g something,
and they didn't," said Agor. "It's as
simple as that."
According to Director of Student
Judicial Affairs Sandra Bowles, no
standard written policy currently
The assumption that flag display
is taboo is simply set by precedent.
Regardless of the reasoning
behind Houlihan's documentation,
the event itself has led students to
reconsider the tradition.
"We're a school that prides
ourselves on honoring different
views," said sophomore Davia
Young, who believes flag displays
should be allowed if in an
appropriate and respectful manner.
Nonetheless, the College is an
_ ^ - i'":- ■ A
* * J
The image above shows the lawn in front of Founders Hall covered with American flags on Wednesday, Sept. 11,2013.
institution that prides itself on "It is not because Quakers don't petition to make an exemption to the
upholding Quaker values. For that love their coxmtry. Friends de- flag policy on Sept. 11 as well as on
reason, there are others who wish for emphasize symbols, preferring Veteran's Day.
the policy to remain intact. direct experience and partidpation In a post on the Guilford College
"It is not because Quakers in the experiences the symbols Republicans Facebook page, he
don't care about those who have represent." sh^d this sentiment:,
perished," said Lany Boggess, head Houlihan hopes to find a middle "I'll be damned if we can't fly our
of the Quaker Friends School. ground. He is now working on a flag a year from today."
55 students attend massive climate protest
this week*$ developments
According to junior Jon
Madden and Professor of
Physics Steve Shapiro, a new
Quailty^fEnhancement Plan Is
underway to work alongside
our current QEP, Writing
Through the Disciplines.
Serendipity Is under
scrutiny and we need YOUR
* ^ . Let us know what we
do to save Serendipity!
next week*s plans
Join us for a debriefing
about the Day of Service,
happening on Sept. 27. Want
to get more involved in
student senate? Next week
we will also be talking
about how to encourage more
Have an Idea?
important to us
Continued from Page I
"Every part of it was worth it."
Initially, the hope was to get 30 Guilford
students to the march. The final number was 55.
"So many people showed up (to the meeting),"
said first year Ben McKay-Simmons. "I thought, 'if
there are this many people interested at Guilford,
this is going to be really big.'"
Students marched for numerous reasons,
including members of the Cape Fear River basin
trip led by Instructor of Art and Experiential
Learning Specialist Maia Dery.
"I did surf camp with Maia Derry this year
and that changed my perception," said first-year
Thomas Soiles. "This is an important thing for
Some are interested in the biological impact.
"Climate change has affected the natural
biological system that is our earth," said
sophomore Colin Nollet. "There is a big shift
because of the impact we've had on climate.
Significantly more species have been dying off
Other students feel an obligation to the earth.
"It's especially important for youth to show that
they care about the environment," said sophomore
Rachel Lowenstein. "It's a real problem."
Once at the march, 400,000 people from all over
the world marched together in solidarity.
"It was stunning to see the sheer number
of people who showed up to this event," said
junior Addy Allred. "There were a lot of different
agendas being pushed ... but, all in all, it felt like
we were one united march."
People flooded into Manhattan to have their
"I'm part of an eco-village in Ithaca," said
Shirley Way from Ithaca Quaker Meeting. "I am
exceedingly concerned about the lack of taking
what is happening to our planet seriously by our
For those in other countries that could not
make it to the event, smaller solidarity marches
were held all around the world.
Many marched with different agendas, such as
food justice, ecosystems, and peace.
One group of interfaith marchers included over
24 religious backgrounds.
"I'm hopeful that if enough concerned people
get together, we can start getting things moved,"
said Ron Peterson, a member of the Quaker
Farmington Scipio Quarterly Meeting. "A broad-
based coalition of groups are involved."
The plan: to make international governments
"We had 400,000 people there," said Evans.
"The Rockefellers are now announcing that they
want to divest (from oil). Things are happening."
In the end, the connections made are inspiring
hope for change.
"These groups of people coming together, these
conversations, is how we become united and
really begin to change things," said Evans.
Compiled by Nicole Zelniker, staff writer