Defending the Judeo-Christian Heritage, limited government, and the American Constitution
Saturday August 1st 2015

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S.E.M., Vol. 1, No. 7
Federalist 69 - by Alexander Hamilton. 1. What are the chief characters in regards to the President as outlined in the proposed Constitution? 2. Why does Hamilton believe the term of office for a President should be longer than three years? 3. What was the term of office for the king of England and what, in your opinion, is the potential for abuse in such a term? Would the term of office of the king of England present any advantages - in the Founders experience and in your opinion - over over the new American system? Read all of the questions and post your response at our new resource Self-Educated Man

Ithaca College Restricts Student Journalist Access to Admin.

JOSEPH COHN, THEFIRE.ORG

According to Buzzsaw Magazine, an independent student magazine at Ithaca College, Ithaca recently adopted a new policy that problematically “requires that student media outlets seeking interviews with college administrators must submit all interview requests through the Ithaca College Office of Media Relations. The policy encompasses 84 administrators, including school deans, student services faculty, financial and admissions personnel, and — of course — President Rochon.”

Limiting student journalist access to administrators, deans, and department heads frustrates student media’s ability to get unvarnished opinions and critical information. Policies like this one, therefore, threaten the very notion of a free press and defeat the principles embodied in the First Amendment.

Ithaca College is not the first institution to try to control student media’s access to dissenting views in the administration. We’ve seen similar disturbing tactics adopted, most notably at Harvard Medical School in 2009 and more recently at Chicago State University, whose administration tried to muzzle its faculty this past spring. In a commentary in The Ithacan, Ithaca College President Tom Rochon tried to justify the new policy by emphasizing that it only covers instances when the journalist is seeking an interview about “college policies or developments.”

Count me amongst the many who are unconvinced that this distinction matters. If the college is only concerned that its institutional viewpoint is accurately expressed, it should simply designate individuals who are approved to speak for the institution publicly, so that it is clear that when others speak they are speaking for themselves as opposed to for the institution. Ithaca College’s policy is too broad to accomplish the administration’s stated purpose and jeopardizes the independence and integrity of the school’s press.

This misguided policy has not only caught our attention here at FIRE, but it has also drawn calls for its repeal from Buzzsaw Magazine, The IthacanIthaca College’s Student Government Associationover 60 members of the college’s faculty and staff, and hundreds of Ithaca College alumni. I hope this opposition sways Ithaca College’s administration to abandon this overbroad policy.

Joseph Cohn is Legislative and Policy Director at FIRE.


Used with the permission of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.