I have some important information regarding KSUM.
First, all materials for the table have been obtained.
For those of you expecting the tablecloth, the banner was purchased to save both time and money. The tablecloth would have taken ten days to print and cost twice as much, when all I wanted to do was make the table more noticeable. The banner has a velcro edge and came with adhesive velcro strips on the side. This means the banner can be attached to the table without issue.
I am $157.38 under budget. I plan to use the extra money for food for many KSUM meetings in the future and possibly literature, but I have not decided yet. If you are a donor, I would be happy to hear your opinion on what the money should be used for. You can review an itemization of Paypal fees and expenses in this Excel file, with links to various receipts in the first column of the second sheet of the workbook. The Excel file is hosted on MediaFire, which messes up spreadsheet formatting badly. Just click the download button at the top right of the page to grab the original file.
Next, my petition now has all the student signatures it needs to demonstrate student demand to KSU administration. Here’s a picture with names blurred to protect the anonymity of the signatories.
I now need officers, so the table event will be more geared toward recruitment. I also need to finish my Constitution and follow up with my faculty adviser candidates, but those are bridges to cross later.
Next up: I sent an email (personal info removed) to the Student Life office of KSU requesting a table for 9 AM EST Friday September 27th for the first table event in front of the Commons. I am waiting to be approved. While I wait for Student Life’s response, I will continue my fight to get some level of recording rights for the event. I was recently physically stopped at the Commons for trying to record the general area to show you all what it was like. The staff had privacy concerns, and they told me to go to the KSU University Relations office for approval. The UR said that they were okay with me recording the event if the offices nearest my table were okay with it. I went over to the Social Sciences building first on a whim and left the Dean a message asking permission. The campus attorney and assistant dean got in touch and told me that I cannot record any student without their explicit, written consent. Note that I am manning a table in a public space, and cannot exactly ask for signatures that easily without setting a bad impression.
I asked the attorney to cite the policy he was referring to. I am still waiting for a response. The KSU Student Handbook and KSU Policy site do not match what he was telling me. If KSU does not actually have a policy related to this, then the next step is to check state law.
Georgia state law codified in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62 (2)(C) states:
[It shall be unlawful for any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful to] use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded;
There are three big questions, First, am I “out of public view”? I’d say not, given I am manning a table on a state funded university as a student enrolled in said university. Second, how inclusive is “curtilage”? Curtilage refers to the space around a property, like the street outside of a residence. Think of it as a thick “ring” around a property. Does “within the “curtilage” include the ring around the campus AND inside the ring? Third, if I keep UoT footage and pictures on my person to demonstrate that a camera is needed for my own protection, how far can “I need this camera to protect me from crazy thugs that may attend this public university” take me?
Should the conditions be right to say I need consent (which is debatable), state law does not specify that consent must be written. Given the information I have, the campus attorney looks to have just plain made that up. But I could be wrong. Time will tell.
The takeaway is that I may end up keeping the camera off to the side until someone gets nasty. If I have to pull out the camera defensively, then chances are good the footage needs to be taken. I will take a photo of the table and have my Twitter feed ready to show the event is going on, but I do not know if I will get away with just recording it flat out. We’ll see where the legal discussion goes.
Finally, I met with some student workers on KSU in a small gathering today. The men attending the event were the ones who finished signing my petition. They have been helpful and are open to my questions related to setting up a student organization, One of them actually works in the Student Life office, which is responsible for working with student organizations. I learned that since KSUM is starting as a RSO (Registered Student Organization), it will not have as much power as a CSO (Certified Student Organization). A CSO gets funding and special large space reservation privileges. A RSO gets tables and competes for space like the rest of the student body. I want KSUM to be a CSO, but this is a long-term goal that is currently far out of my reach, It is possible that I will need to trust a good set of officers to take care of that once I leave KSU.
So, we have all the materials under budget for a table event proposed for this Friday. Legal complications are muddling the mixture, but it won’t stop the wheels from turning.
Thanks for keeping up with the events, and thanks again to my supporters for making this possible.