ASI announces the disbandment of the flag policy

Teresa Balmori Perez, Assistant News Editor

ASI board members taking notes during the public comment, where discussion of the removal of the flag policy and flag committee were discussed. Photo by Brianna Fay / The Runner

The Associated Students Inc. held a meeting on April 21 to discuss the disbandment of the flag policy that was made in December 2022, which has many students at CSUB wondering if they will be allowed to raise certain flags on campus in the future.

According to Ilaria Pesco, the executive director of ASI, the cabinet has not agreed to a new practice of having the president’s cabinet make the decisions on which flags could be flown at CSUB. She further explained that ASI was not aware of the disbandment of the flag policy, only until the Veterans brought it to their attention.

Ignasio Castillo, the Vice President of Legislative Affairs, explained that he finds this situation very worrisome because ASI raises a pride flag every year in October in regard to the celebration of the LGBTQ Community. However, due to the new situation taking place, Castillo wonders if raising the pride flag will become an issue in the future.

“[Pride month] is a tremendous event to have individuals that have been suppressed through history and it’s quite irritating to see them not being able to get the proper representation through being able to flag the pride flag,” said Jacob Roper, the director of NSME.

According to Ronald Gomez, the university counsel office at CSUB, explained that the flag pole is not a traditional public forum. This means that it’s not a factor in which the public can engage in free speech.

Carson Vollmer, the president of ASI, stated that there was no announcement made to the flag committee about the disbandment of the flag policy or any communication to the campus about this issue. The only announcement that was made to them was the pride flag that was placed last year in October, but the flag policy committee has not received any news about this.

Throughout the meeting, various board members and participants also voiced their concerns on whether CSUB will be able to raise a flag in honor of Veterans or Memorial Day.

A participant that was at the ASI meeting explained that they were presented an email on April 19, 2023, stating that the flag policy has been disbanded and that the flag poles are only limited to the United States, California and CSUB flags and no other flags can be flown on the flag poles, including the military flag.

A pride flag blows in the wind after ASI’s flag raising ceremony on Oct. 5, 2022. Photo by Vada Hepner / The Runner

Maria Espinoza, the executive vice president of ASI, voiced her opinions on the situation. Espinoza explained that having this issue take place at CSUB is taking away some of the diversity and inclusion that CSUB is always promoting.

“Raising a flag was really about feeling supported and represented by our campus. Being there at the LGBTQ flag raising ceremony was very special because it really made me feel like this campus really cares about these populations,” said Espinoza.

According to Pesco, on Friday 28, ASI will discuss a resolution to urge the president’s cabinet to allow students to be able to raise any flags at CSUB.

For more information or concerns about this situation, one can email Pesco at [email protected].