September 28, 2005


Lately, I’ve been feeling under the boot of “the man” even though sometimes it’s a woman.

We had this giant meeting with the president of the college, the vice-president of student services, the director of student life, our regular two print journalism instructors, adviser and staff.

It was supposed to be our regular staff meeting where we discuss the status of our current issue, address problems, planning the next issue, etc. However with the smell of bacon in the room and not wanting to grant prior review, we decided to turn the floor over to our visitors.

The nodding heads stayed quiet except to say they support our efforts and hoped we’d make an effort to get both sides of the story. President Carlsen made thinly veiled references to my columns, the nodding heads supported. He asked me straight out if the administration ever censored our newspaper. I told him no one has ever prevented us from printing stories. However, people censor us by not consenting to interviews, not responding to phone calls and e-mail requests and generally dragging their feet until publication day comes and goes. He raised his hand and waved me off.

I asked him with the Hosty v. Carter controversy, if he would sign a document saying he would never censor our paper. He said that he’d sign it in a minute. Like he’d refuse to sign in front of administrators and student journalists – one of which recorded the meeting.

Our editor in chief also hammered the point that opinions are not news stories. He also told them they could write a letter to the editor or guest column citing their concerns.

The bravest of the head nodders and a man I have learned to respect sent us a column the next day.