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Our Next Meeting: April 18, 2006 at the SORC Office in Talley at 6:30 pm

Intelligent Design vs. Evolution Debate Presented by the Wake County ACLU
and the ACLU at NC State
Date: April 20, 2006
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Caldwell G-107

The event will feature panelists from both sides, a philosopher and scientist on each.  These panelists include Dr. Douglas Jesseph, Professor of Philosophy at NCSU; Dr. Robert Hambourger, Associate Professor of Philosophy at NCSU; John G. Gray, Jr, PhD in Physiology, currently working in the private sector; and Dr. C. Gerald Van Dyke, Professor of Botany at NCSU.

Our panelists will each take a few minutes at the beginning to present their views (in randomly selected order), followed by a short response period; we will then segue into a Q&A session, as we want this to be highly participatory.  In the end, we'll have closing remarks by each of our panelists to tie it all together.

We think this event fits well into the current issues of society and public institutions, as it will be informative and ties closely with current debate and policy decisions.

We welcome you to join us on this evening!

Letters to the Administration Concerning the Pat-downs at Football Games
To Whom It May Concern, 

The Technician recently brought attention to task force recommendations that include mandatory pat-downs for everyone entering Carter Finley Stadium through the main gates in order to prevent alcohol and weapons from entering the stadium.  The ACLU at NCSU is concerned with the potential encroachment of fourth amendment rights protecting unwarranted searches and seizures of people attending NC State events at Carter-Finley.  The undersigned members of the ACLU at NCSU do not in any way condone the carrying of prohibited items into the stadium, and we support the mission of the task force in protecting students and fans of North Carolina State University.  However, the solution offered by the task force is worrisome for a variety of reasons: 
  • The nature of searching always leads to potential for profiling.  If one race, gender, age, or any other classification of attendees feels they are unfairly targeted, the pat-downs would create more problems than they may prevent.  We are particularly concerned that attendees entering the Vaughn Towers may not be subject to the same policies, as alcohol is allowed for those attendees.  This not only suggests that the policy targets students, it also encroaches upon the Equal Protection rights guaranteed to all game-day attendees. 
  • Any person could feel the frisking to be inappropriately performed, and the potential legal problems from this could severely hamper the university. 
  • Students and regular attendees would feel that they are being deemed guilty of violating Carter-Finley’s “no alcohol” rule without any evidence pointing to their guilt.  This aspect of the policy further raises Constitutional issues.
We realize that this is a serious issue, but we hope that the University will respect the basic standards of rights and decency that we enjoy in our society.  Metal detectors have proven an effective and fast solution to maintain a safe environment for many public events, including those in the RBC Center.  We would like to arrange a meeting with Task Force members to discuss this issue further and construct a solution that will meet the objective of ensuring game-day safety while respecting the civil liberties of everyone involved.  We hope that collaborating with the task force will generate an effective and acceptable solution that will avoid any possible challenges to new regulations that may impede their implementation.  Again, the ACLU at NCSU supports finding solutions to ensure the safety of game attendees and applauds the University’s efforts in creating a task force to address these issues.  

The American Civil Liberties Union at NC State University

The following letter is a response to the reply we got from the general counsel of NC State:

David Drooz, Chancellor and NCSU administrators,

Thank you for responding to our letter. Although there have only been a few cases dealing specifically with warrantless pat-downs at public football games, our general research leads us to believe that implementing mandatory searches at this weekend's Carter-Finley event would be unconstitutional based on several precedent setting court cases, the Bill of Rights and the North Carolina Constitution.

The following cases, several of which apply to North Carolina (based on jurisdictional authority of the involved courts), show that all persons have a reasonable expectation to privacy and shall not be subject to searches and pat-downs which are warrantless, unreasonable and not based on probable cause.

Searching all persons at a public football game would be contrary to the 4th Amendment. For the record, the fourth amendment is as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The involuntary pat-downs would also be contrary to Article I, section 20 and 21 of the North Carolina constitutions cited below.

General warrants, whereby any officer or other person may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of the act committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty and shall not be granted.

And that,

Every person restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the restraint if unlawful, and that remedy shall not be denied or delayed. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

We also recommend review of the following cases: Schneckloth vs. Bustamonte [1], ND vs. Seglen [2}, Gordon Johnston vs. TSA [3], Sosa-Leon vs. Florida [4], Iaccarino vs. Florida [5], and New Jersey vs. T.L.O. [6].     

In sum, it is our opinion that the policy that has been proposed would be illegal because it would be 1) a violation of persons' reasonable expectation of privacy at public events, 2) warrantless and not based on reasonable suspicion, and 3) discriminatory given that it mostly targets areas of the stadium that are used by students and not those entering the Vaughn Towers.

The ACLU at NCSU strongly urges you to immediately suspend the planned implementation of the pat-down policy until you can present indisputable legal justification and precedents favoring the proposed policy. We look forward to hearing from you in that regard. Otherwise, ACLU at NCSU will continue monitoring the implementation of the pat-down policy, will be present, on location in case you proceed, and will pursue its interests as deemed necessary for the preservation of students' constitutional rights.


ACLU at NC State Investigates Bible Distribution on Campus
Recently we received a complaint regarding a NC State sponsored distribution of bibles at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Apparently, an NCSU department, the "Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service", which is financed by taxpayers' money sponsored distribution. The group that provided and handed out the bibles is called Gideon's International. After evaluating the situation, our chapter asked the staff attorney of NC-ACLU chapter to intervene and determine if such sponsorship was legal.

After the NC-ACLU staff attorney, Shelagh R. Kenney, discussed the issue with NCSU, it was determined that NCSU's sponsorship of bible distribution was in fact legal, so long as any other department or group is allowed to sponsor any other group regardless of the message they might propagate. However, the school erred when it used the school's email system to announce this event, while it would typically not do so for any other event.

When questioned about how this event served any educational purpose, the CSLEPS office replied that there was no educational purpose behind the event. They referenced other sponsored events, such as credit card companies coming to campus to solicit, as other times when there is no educational basis for sponsorship.

The student that filed the complaint said she already feels too much pressure "from Christian community in other places, and [she does] not need/want that pressure while [she is] here to learn veterinary medicine."

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