by Oscar G. Borello
In its 75-year history, the Campus Times has enjoyed freedom in reporting the news with little hindrance from the administration. Since its inception in 1919, there have only been a couple of memorable forms of censorship experienced by the publication.
In spring 1988, Editor Matthew Wilson, decided to print one of the most newsworthy stories in recent times.
Two women living in the Stu-Han Residence Hall were assaulted by a man in their rooms on the morning of April 10. The article came out on April 15, the first day of Spotlight Weekend.
This is a weekend where the La Verne Admissions Office hosts prospective students and their parents.
When the issue was distributed, some people took it upon themselves to destroy almost 1,000 copies.
President Stephen Morgan made it clear that this type of censorship would not be tolerated. He proposed a policy protecting the publication and its distribution in order to insure the independence of the student press.
“I view the Campus Times as a very important laboratory for our journalism students,” said Dr. Morgan. “They have consistently won awards for coverage and layout, and I support the students’ freedom to determine content and distribution.”
Many of the papers were later found thrown in garbage cans, campus trash bins, and a stack was found on the desk of the director of admissions, who at the time was Adeline Cardenas-Clague.
The next week the Campus Times printed a letter of apology from Cardenas-Clague.
Luz Villarreal, sports editor that semester, was the author of the fateful story and she went on to write a column about the incident.
Though she was satisfied with the apology, Villarreal said, “Regardless of who actually discarded the papers, 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 such as reporting the news.”