YouTube video causes 9/11 controversy at Saddleback College


Professor Lovett recorded by group of students from young Americans for freedom removing 9/11 posters

Professor Lovett recorded by group of students from Young Americans for Freedom removing 9/11 posters

On the afternoon of September 8, a few days before the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a group of students from Young Americans for Freedom placed posters around Saddleback College with the words printed “9/11 Never Forget” along with images of terrorist attacks and the twin towers.

Students from YAF, which is now an approved club on campus as of Sept. 15,  noticed the professor pulling down the posters and used a smartphone to capture video of Margot Lovett, chair of the history department, removing the posters from the side of the BGS Building. With the posters under her arm, she approached the students and explained they must remove the posters due to campus policies, suggesting how they may go about getting approval.

The video, which has now gone viral, has more than 183,000 views on YAF’s YouTube account. Sparks of debate were set off and critical comments were made on multiple social media and blog sites.

The posters were put up to remind students of the attacks and those who passed, and to take the time to reflect on the hard time our country faced, said YAF’s Emily Jahinsky.

Shortly after the posters were placed,  Lovett noticed that these posters were in a no posting zone, and had not yet been approved by Associated Student Government because they did not have  the “OK” stamp to be posted.

According to South Orange County Community College District, Administrative Regulation 8000, material may be posted in unsecured interior and exterior bulletin boards not marked for specific purpose, kiosks, faculty copier areas, employee mailbox areas and employee lounge areas, on bulletin boards and other designated areas as determined by the college president.

The college’s Student Development Office does not have a designated person to remove posters. If notified that posters do not have approval or are in a non posting zone, they will contact the club or student responsible for putting up the signs for them to remove it. If not removed on time, development will remove it themselves, said Erlynne Ballo, interim director of student life.

Saddleback posted its  official statement  regarding the issue on its website:

“On September 8th, the students posted stickers and flyers on several campus buildings, which is a violation of South Orange County Community College District policy.  The students also did this without first seeking approval from college administration.  However, flyers that were posted by the students in the designated free speech areas on campus have not been removed by college personnel. The director of student life has reached out to the students and invited them to meet and discuss the steps that can be taken to work collaboratively with the college in the future and in accordance with college and district policies and procedures.”

Jahinsky said representatives from the college have also  reached out to speak to Amy Lutz, program officer for YAF.