‘Vols for Bush’ Stickers Confiscated at UT

Prior to the Louisiana Tech game Saturday, UT students and community members were passing out stickers that read “Vols for Bush.” Among the groups involved in this were the UT College Republicans, UT Vols for Bush, UT Students for Bush, and the Knox County Republican Party.

Apparently, these stickers posed a problem for the UT administration, who claim the stickers were produced illegally. Mike Young, from the Office of Trademark Licensing, approached CRs Jerod Hollyfield, Nathan Fortner, and myself, and confiscated our stickers. They then met with Knox GOP officials at the tailgate party near Neyland Stadium, and informed them that the stickers could not be passed out. Stacey Campfield, candidate for state house, was likewise stopped, and had his stickers taken away.

Political stickers have long used the term “Vols,” and, to my knowledge, no administration official has ever complained. The legal bounds seem somewhat sketchy to most everyone I have spoken with. Whether or not this is suppression of free speech is an interesting legal question that merits thorough investigation.

UPDATE: Matt Bible, a UT junior, has a letter-to-the-editor in today’s Beacon, arguing that the confiscation was politically motivated.

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