Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Ziv senator drafts resolution in support of flag display

Published: January 18, 2008
Section: News

800px-flag-news-article.pngIn response to confusion over the reasons for the removal of an American flag posted in Ziv Quad, Ziv Senator Justin Sulsky ’09 drafted a resolution supporting the display of American flags as long as such display is not a safety hazard.

The Union Senate will vote on Sulsky’s resolution at Sunday’s Senate meeting.

Ziv 130 residents Ari Tessler ’08 and Abe Male ’08 originally hung an American flag outside of the building but removed it when told such display violated Rights and Responsibilities.

Following this, Male and Tessler decided to hang the flag in a window in the common hallway on their floor. They were again told by Residence Life to remove the flag. This time they were told the flag posed a fire hazard.

While Male and Tessler were told by members of Residence Life to hang the American flag in their suites, the two felt strongly about public display. Tessler explained, “we want public display of an American flag in Ziv…we don’t hide our Brandeis flag, so too with an American flag…we need a [flag] pole, plain and simple.”

Additionally, the two felt they ran up against unnecessary opposition in their efforts to secure public display of a flag. “No one was really working with us on the other end.” said Male.

Tessler agreed, “there’s been a lack of cooperation. A flag is wanted, let’s work together.”

As such, Male said he was “thrilled that the [Sulsky] is doing this resolution.” Even so, “the proliferation of patriotism on campus should not have to be taken as far as a student resolution.”

Sulsky supported Residence Life’s request that the flag be removed on both occasions, explaining that the ways in which Tessler and Male displayed their flag was indeed a safety hazard.

Sulsky clarified that the request to remove the flag had nothing to do with the fact that an American flag was hung.

“There was still some concern, some skepticism,” said Sulsky. “[People] see flags…of other meanings all the time and we don’t see a lot of American flags,” he said.

In drafting the resolution, “I wanted to send the message that American flags are a great thing,” Sulsky commented.

“I don’t want to mandate flags everywhere,” Sulsky said, “this is more about general rights of students to display things they want to display as long as they don’t violate safety regulations.”

Sulsky said, “I don’t want to make this more than it is, I want to show that I’m responding to the needs of my constituents.”

Additionally, Sulsky said he wanted to “back up Res Life and university offices on the fact that it was dangerous to post the flag in the window.”

“I hope it’s passed easily because it’s a prudent resolution,” Sulsky remarked. “People voting for the resolution are…voting for the right to post flags.”