Newspaper censorship kills firm student hopes, beliefs

Luz Villarreal, Sports Editor
Luz Villarreal, Sports Editor

Students come to La Verne for many different reasons. One common reason is being able to grow in a small liberal arts college.

Students share this common goal and the desire to excel in their chosen field. I know this is why I came. I know this is why many students come to ULV.

I believe La Verne has been for­tunate to have some dedicated facul­ty members. This is where I believe the backbone of La Verne is. If it were not for some of the faculty on campus who truly believe in this institution, students would not believe in the system.

I believe it is faculty members who play a heavy role in student retention. That is why it is so important to keep the unique faculty members here, they keep the ULV heart pumping.

I know there are a few excellent faculty members who made me believe in La Verne. I was one of those students who thought I would use La Verne as a stepping stone and transfer after two years. I changed my position because of a few faithful La Vernites.

I started to believe that La Verne really had something to offer me. I already believed I had a lot to offer La Verne, I just wanted something back in return.

My field is journalism and I have developed a closeness to the depart­ment. I was convinced that I could ex­cel and grow in this department. It has become respected by other campuses and professionals. I no longer felt I had to attend a larger school to receive a respectable degree.

This all was being reinforced until last Friday. I have written many articles for the Campus Times and there have been times people have disagreed with my opinion. Those people had that right for when I wrote my opinion, I wrote columns that welcomed other opinions and encouraged dialogue.

On the other hand, when I write an objective news article, who is to say they disagree with my stand? No one. My opinion is not reflected in news articles.

I can understand when individuals become fired up over my columns, and I may not agree with them or their actions. But when my own University chooses to censor me and the Cam­pus Times for what is not even an opinionated article, it is absurd.

I wrote the article on the assault of the women in Stu-Han in last week’s Campus Times. It was for that article that more than 1,000 of the Campus Times newspapers were missing last Friday.

This was done to keep the issue from potential students (Spotlight Weekend participants) who might read the article. However, this action was not done in the evening when par­ticipants arrived, it was done that morning when La Verne students, who pay for this newspaper through tuition, could not even find a copy to read.

Regardless of who actually dis­carded the newspapers, I was censored – the Campus Times was censored. I believe through actions like this, I really am not able to carry out important journalistic responsibilities (reporting the news). I believe this University wants me to ignore negatives at La Verne and just write on the positives.

The Campus Times is not a public relations sheet. My job is to report campus issues be they positive or negative. However, I do not believe I am allowed to carry this out anymore because this University is worried about its image. This is not Disneyland we all know this.

I am proud of La Verne, even with its negatives. But the kind of reaction week only makes me wonder if I we have been better off transferring.

If we have to worry so much about potential students not coming to La Verne because they read a negative news story, I am embarrassed.

With this kind of irresponsible action taking place at La Verne, I would never recommend ULV to a potential journalism student, even with its excellent journalism teachers. Because the University overstepped these faculty members. At least it did last Friday.

I am sure that if any potential journalism students heard about this action taking place over an objective news story, they would not come to La Verne for these measures, not for news story itself.

The sad truth is, I know I am not alone, I know other students on campus agree with me. I hope by this example, those responsible will not give ULV another black eye in the future.

I hope the new policy, (a rule which is a hands-off policy from administration, faculty and staff regarding the manner the Campus Times is written, produced and distributed) which resulted from this incident will prevent these kinds of actions in the future.

The measures taken by those who hid and threw away the Campus Times destroyed all the hopes and beliefs that took me a while to develop. When people ask me if I am ashamed of my University for what happened, I am honest. I tell I them “yes”.

Luz Villarreal, Sports Editor
Luz Villarreal
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