“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
-The United States Constitution, The First Amendment
The University of La Verne should not be exempt from such First Amendment protections.
But as a reporter for the Campus Times, I have noticed this community’s right to free speech, especially when it comes to campus news, is sometimes seized.
The campus media have been denied access to important information.
This is damaging to its readers, viewers, and listeners.
I am not a pushy person who tries to find scandals in every corner on this campus.
I am a journalist who takes her role as a member of the fourth estate very seriously.
It is my duty to report the facts accurately, completely and in a timely way.
However, I have been finding that it is nearly impossible to report a critical story here at ULV because of the lack of cooperation from administration.
The press is the watchdog of the powers that be, and the Campus Times is the watchdog of this institution.
Without reasonable access to information, rumors circulate across campus.
It is our job to dispel those rumors, but we need cooperation.
The tragedy this campus has experienced rocked our small community and brought a swarm of outside media to our doors.
The university should welcoming the media, all of the media, who are trying to report the facts.
Instead the administration has met them with suspicion, possibly weakening a potentially good relationship with the press and, by extension, the community at large.
Football players, athletic trainers and students have been told not to speak to the media following Saturday’s tragedy on the football field.
What do we students have to conceal?
We are emotional, we are human and we are a family.
We should be able to convey our thoughts, hopes and emotions freely. Instead our emotions are being censored.
This is not the only example of such a closed-door policy.
Students and readers of the Campus Times often go without critical information because of the tight lips of administrators.
Isn’t it important for the students to be abreast of things that involve ULV and that affect the student body?
The Campus Times has had to hold back on several important stories because of a lack of information.
Students are unaware that the School of Continuing Education is under investigation for allegedly illegally recruiting students.
Students are oblivious to latest developments at the ULV Law School.
What about the mysterious resignation of Financial Aid Director Mary Lindsay, who was here at ULV for less than a year?
These are all stories that went unreported due to lack of information.
What are we trying to hide?
We are an educational institution.
We need to learn from our mistakes, cry when we are emotional and speak when there are things to address.
Amanda Stutevoss, a senior broadcasting and journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.