Tag Archives: free speech

How Free Speech Was Saved

This is pre-co-op early days. The year was 2006, so it was one year before the house was created. This was when certain people who were influential to the house lived at what was called the Phi Omega Tau house, or the green house, and so did Strawberry and Wave, who named the Technicolor Tree Tribe from a brain wave she had. (laughs) They lived at the Phi Omega Tau house and they had participated in a free speech zone protest because USC made up this thing, like, a couple years ago where we only had a free speech zone from 12 to 2pm at Tommy Trojan. So they had made this sign and painted it and stuff. After the protest they took it back to their porch and hung it up on their porch and it’s a really nice porch and that they were hanging out on. And so, they were just hanging out on the porch one day and this girl comes by and starts talking shit and she sort of identified herself as a USC college republican and she had a lighter and like tried to set the banner attached to their porch on fire. So, they like brought out a hose and Strawberry was apparently in the background yelling, “if you’re gonna bring fire, we’re gonna bring water!” And they basically sprayed this girl and her dog with a hose and then she came – well, they don’t if she came back – but someone came to the house that night and set the banner on fire and the smoke alarms went off and like they got up and luckily woke up and sprayed the thing out, but there were burn marks all over the porch. Yeah. So they pretty much knew it was this girl, but they couldn’t like call the cops or anything, because apparently like you don’t really invite the cops over to something called the Phi Omega Tau House…because if you know what those Greek symbols mean (laughs) Phi Omega Tau kind of spells out ‘pot.’ That’s Strawberry’s story. I think the girl knew about the protest during the day and like was against that or just this house.


After finishing the tale, my informant went on to say that free speech was ironically practiced by the girl who had thought that the people at Phi Omega Tau shouldn’t have expressed what they believed. This situation is an example of the tension, division, and struggle between people who believe in different ideals and how students opposed to certain USC policies also collide with other students.