Professor experience vandalism

Joel R. Paramo

Theft and vandalism of professors’ vote YES and NO on Proposition 8 signs have become a problem that the staff of Bakersfield College is quietly discussing.
BC Academic Development faculty member Susan Pinza had a NO on Proposition 8 bumper sticker on her vehicle on Oct. 6 when she parked for work at 8 a.m. that day in the faculty parking lot next to fine arts. When she returned at 5 p.m. it had been ripped off making it less than a day on campus.
“I believe in freedom of speech and expression,” said Pinza. “What upsets me the most was the removal of viewpoints. Since then I stuck a smaller sticker, the kind you’d wear on a shirt and no one has bothered that.”
ESL professor John Hart also experienced vandalism of his YES on Proposition 8 signs posted on his office door. According to Hart it looked like someone took a razor blade and cut through the tape leaving blade marks on his door. “I know there’s strong emotions on both sides,” said Hart. “Especially when people see signs they don’t agree with. It’s happening all over the county, people have emotional reactions no matter what side they identify with, not only in conservative areas.”
Both professors believe that they have a right to express their opinions, but according to Pinza, “There’s a time and a place for everything, my car is my personal property, putting a political sign up in my office is a different story, that’s school property.”
Pinza added that there are teachers who may or may not present their opinions in class but it goes back to the whole idea of freedom of speech.
“We have the right to express ourselves,” said Hart. “And many professors take advantage of that right to express themselves.”
Pinza believes that college is a place where students are exposed to lots of different view points, “It’s a great place to learn, we should respect other’s views.”
Professors have a general message to whoever is participating in the vandalism of these signs and censorship of their opinions. “Respect property and other people’s view points,” said Hart. “If you want to express yourself do it in a constructive manner, not destructive.”