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Sunday, February 05, 2023

Despite Monday's Tasering incident, Student Government's speakers bureau will continue to operate normally, a top official with the organization said Tuesday.

Steven Blank, Accent chairman, said he didn't think the incident warranted any major changes in Accent's security policy.

"In 40 years, we've never had this sort of situation," Blank said. "We have been doing the same thing for a very long time, and we will continue to do it."

Andrew Meyer, a telecommunication senior, was arrested and Tasered by UPD officers during a question-and-answer session with Kerry, a Democrat who represents Massachusetts and a former presidential candidate. Accent hosted Kerry's speech.

Police moved in after Blank ordered Meyer's microphone to be cut off when Meyer used profanity.

"We make it clear that any profanity and vulgarity by anyone asking questions will result in a cutting off of the mic," Blank said.

Police are typically present when a prominent figure speaks, Blank said.

But he declined to comment on whether he thought the use of a Taser was necessary.

"The police are there with the general understanding that they are there to keep order," he said. "They acted independently of Accent."

But the UPD police report stated that Accent officials asked police to remove Meyer from the room.

Blank also declined to offer his personal reaction to the incident, only saying, "It was a wonderful speech on behalf of Senator Kerry."

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