How Media Policy Silences Students and Faculty– a Danger to Free Speech

Silencing for Web

Student suppression is coming from inside the house-and it is not okay. On the agenda at the Oct. 11 Academic Senate meeting, the topic was raised of the problematic policy in place requiring all requests for information on campus be filtered through the Interim Public Information Officer rather than to the people directly in charge of those areas.

Given that officials at the district level are still complying with our requests in a timely manner, it has become abundantly clear that this is a campus issue.

While I’m sure the administration has the best interests of the college at heart, Mommy hand feeding us interviews like cookies from a jar is insulting. We’re grown adults and trained journalists.

When one of our reporters sets out to cover a story, it’s with a comprehensive plan. WE research the topic to the best of our abilities, make observations, and when needed, consult our advisors. Only after completing those steps do we contacts a source for an interview to fill in the gaps.

This ridiculous policy infantilizes us as college students, and it is a complete violation of first amendment protections for both students and employees. The Supreme Court has ruled that public employees do not surrender their constitutional rights upon clocking in for the day.

The same is true of students at public institutions. We retain our rights to free speech, expression and press, regardless of the administration’s opinion on the matter.

Although this most directly impacts students in journalism classes who are currently unable to complete course assignments on deadline, on a broader scale this affects everyone on campus.

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If we allow this to happen, what else will they decide students don’t neeed to know, employees don’t need to say and who will be left to speak up?

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