Pole appears on, disappears from Free Speech monument on Sproul Plaza

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Mikaela Raphael/Senior Staff

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Around the week of Jan. 20, a pole appeared on Sproul Plaza, filling the 6-inch hole in the ground that marks the location of the campus’s Free Speech Movement monument. Three weeks later, the pole disappeared.

According to campus real estate spokesperson Christine Shaff, campus administration authorized neither the erection of the pole nor its removal.

Shaff confirmed, however, that the pole was not an official monument. The official Free Speech Movement memorial, which was designed by artist Mark Brest van Kempen and constructed in 1991, is the 6-inch column of land and airspace on Sproul Plaza encircled within a granite ring, upon which the pole was originally erected. The 6-inch plot of soil and the airspace extending above it are defined as not belonging to any singular nation — and as such, no laws can be acknowledged within the small space.

“At this point, we have no knowledge as to who placed the pole on the plaza, who removed it, or why,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email.

Check back for updates.

Harini Shyamsundar is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.

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