Two students at San Diego State University (SDSU) could be expelled for hanging American, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army and Aztecs (school nickname) flags from the balcony of their on-campus housing unit (video below).
“Just being proud of what we're affiliated with,” Cameron Box, a sophomore and active member of the U.S. Coast Guard, told 10News about why they hang flags outside of their residences.
“And they're trying to say that it's a fire hazard, but it just doesn't make much sense,” Box added.
The SDSU on-campus housing rules state: "No items, except patio furniture designed for outdoor use, may be placed on balconies and patios. Hangings, partitions, or curtains of any type may not be used on balconies or patios."
“If you look up the definition of furniture, it says that it's an ornament and ornaments are particularly designed, you know, to beautify something or make it look good,” Connor Fenwick, a junior who also plans to become a U.S. Army officer, said.
“I don't know anyone who wouldn't say a flag is not designed for outdoor use,” he added.
However, SDSU sent Box and Fenwick a letter saying they have violated the on-campus housing rules and could be expelled.
“So, why can't we have our own First Amendment right?” Fenwick asked.
SDSU is demanding the flags come down immediately because they could block visibility, which creates a safety issue.
The students have created a Change.org petition entitled, "San Diego State University Undermines Student's Freedom of Expression." As of this writing, 195 people have signed the petition.