Since 2010, nearly 3000 memorial flags were placed on Southern Methodist University's Dallas Hall lawn. But this year, the group responsible for the display, Young Americans for Freedom, were told it must be moved.
According to Dallas News, University officials told Grant Wolf, who leads SMU's Young Americans chapter, that the display can be placed only on Morrison-McGinnis Park. That's a major downgrade as that spot is far less prominent than the Dallas Hall Lawn.
A policy posted by the university in July states, “The University respects the right of all members of the SMU community to express their opinions. The University also respects the right of all members of the community to avoid messages that are triggering, harmful or harassing. It is the policy of the University to protect the exercise of these rights.”
MORE: University students voted to ban Canadian and American flags from 'inclusive space' for this bizarre reason
Kent Best, executive director of communications for the university said in a statement that the policy was revised because Dallas Hall lawn “is used frequently for outdoor class space, studying between classes and a variety of university events.”
Leaders from College Democrats, College Republicans, Feminist Equality Movement, Mustangs for Life and Turning Point USA all expressed disappointment with the decision. In a letter to the school they wrote, “People absolutely have to have a right to their own opinions, but this does not come with a right to be shielded from opposing ideas, especially in an environment dedicated to the learning, sharing and developing of new ideas.”
RELATED: A moment of silence for 9/11 victims is offensive to Muslims say University students
Even Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called on the university to reverse the change.
Heather Hall, president of the SMU Turning Point USA chapter spoke against the decision to move the memorial. “Push it off into a little park in the corner, it's almost the same as not having it.”
“That's not free speech. That's not American. That's definitely not what SMU stands for,” she added.
On Tuesday, the University's statement on 'triggering' messages was updated to say, “SMU respects the rights of all campus community members to express their opinions, as well as their right to be free from coercion and harassment. The policy has been further updated to better reflect this balance and to remove the poor wording regarding triggering or harmful messages.”
This isn't the first time that a university has taken issue with 9/11. As we reported back in 2015, students at the University of Minnesota said that a moment of silence for 9/11 victims could be offensive to Muslims.
SOUND OFF in the comments with your thoughts.