Petitioner of legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriage Randy Shimizu is asked to obtain a permit to be on Saddleback College’s campus by Chief Wilkinson, chief of campus police. Shimizu and fellow petitioner, Tony Wilson, were asked to move their vendor table out of designated “free speech area” where they carried over in front of the Library.
Two independent vendors without a permit were asked to pack up their campaign to ‘legalize same-sex marriage and marijuana’ in front the the Library today at 12:40 p.m on Senior Day.
“The board policy requires permission as well as a spot on the campus calendar to be a vendor here today,” said Christopher Wilkinson, chief of campus police. “That’s all we’re asking them to do.”
The vendors, Tony Wilson and Randy Shimizu, are not students at Saddleback College. They felt it was their right to exercise freedom of speech in what they referred to as a “public access area.” Shimizu readily handed out copies of Roberts V. Harrigan, a U.S. District Court case regarding free speech areas at Texas Tech University Law School to back up his argument.
“Colleges are considered public access areas meaning that anyone is free to come and go,” Shimizu said. “Protected free speech is allowed in public access areas and so the colleges are not allowed to designate a free speech area. It’s the same principles if you were just walking over there talking about politics, that’s protected free speech. And that’s covered under Roberts V Harrigan.”
Wilson headed to the Facilities, Maintenance and Operations (FMO) building to obtain a permit but was denied. The department could not be reached for a comment.
A woman identified as Sandra Camarena made a phone call to the FMO building instructing them to deny a permit to Wilson and Shimizu. According to Camarena, Saddleback was not permitting any vendors to the campus because it was Senior Day.
An assistant in the Outreach Department, who refused to give his name, stated that Camarena was the only woman by the name of “Sandra” in Saddleback’s Outreach office. According to this man, Sandra is also an assistant in the Outreach office.
*Updated at 3:33 p.m. on March 27, 2014