Tell College to Stop Censoring Fans’ Pictures

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Target: Joe Alleva, Louisiana State University’s Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director

Goal: Enact a policy that prevents doctored photos of students from being disseminated

A picture of four Louisiana State University students at a football game was recently used by the college in a mass email sent out by the school. But Louisiana State University (LSU) doctored the picture, removing three tiny crosses that were painted on their chests. Tell LSU to get their hands off of students’ bodies and off of their freedom of speech.

Louisiana State University is a school that is over 150 years old, with a long-standing history of collegiate football. Football is a mainstay for the university, bringing in thousands of fans to its stadium yearly and bringing in thousands, if not millions of dollars to its coffers.

It is clear that football is strongly tied in to school pride and school spirit and football fans are a great example of both. So four male students/fans proudly displayed LSU’s team colors in paint on their bodies at a recent home game. The school liked it so much that it took a picture and then used it in its weekly newsletter.

But LSU decided to remove three of the tiny crosses painted on the students’ chests before sending out the email. It is outrageous and deceptive to use a photoshopped picture of one’s students. LSU’s explanation of not wanting to endorse a religion is laughable at best. Since when did a fan’s or student’s body paint constitute a school’s endorsement of a belief or religion? Sign the petition and tell the university that it is crossing the line when it regulates freedom of speech on people’s bodies or clothing while using their personal images.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Joe Alleva,

LSU football fans are loyal, energetic, and go all out in showing school spirit at games. You recently used a fan football game photo in a mass email you sent out, but doctored it by removing some small crosses from the original picture. Please do not alter images of others for your private use without asking their permission or mentioning the edit somewhere in your mailing.

It is ludicrous to have photoshopped the tiny crosses out of the photos because you did not want people to think you were endorsing a particular religion or belief. A picture including tiny painted crosses on students’ bodies that are doused in LSU school colors no more endorses Christianity than a picture of students in school colors wearing yamakas endorses Judaism.

If people were to see a picture of students in school colors wearing peace sign necklaces or “wearing” U.S. Marine tattoos, they could differentiate who was endorsing what. Clearly, the school’s use of that image would be to endorse just the school and the necklaces or tattoos would be an endorsement by the people wearing them, not the school’s. Please enact a policy that does not stifle freedom of speech or expression.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Facebook via LSU Painted Posse

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