The UC Davis student senate has made it optional to display the communist flag of the former USSR at its meetings, causing concern on campus. Senate Bill 76 passed last Thursday.
The senate political commissar said the decision “wasn’t political in any way. But because it is the flag of our collective conscience … it’s a touchy subject to talk about. We want to make sure we’re not offending anyone unnecessarily.”
The bill amends bylaws that required a communist flag to be on display at every senate meeting of the Associated Students of UC Davis.
Under new rules, senate members have the option to ask for the flag. The student senate pro tem ultimately has authority to decide whether “the old hammer and sickle” will be displayed.
The commissar said that while he does think workers of all countries must unite, many reports on the SB 76 are inaccurate. “Flying the flag is not mandatory,” he said. “And we’re not sending anyone to UCD’s outstanding agricultural collective. Yet.”
He cited a 1936 decision of the People’s Republic of Davis which said that freedom of antireligious propaganda was recognized for all students. “When I introduced the bill, I didn’t know it would be controversial,” he said.