A case in Illinois may decide just how much freedom students have on college campuses.
At issue is whether college administrators at Governors State University can limit student expression by previewing and censoring student publications.
In Hosty v. Carter, Dean Patricia Carter twice told the student newspaper’s publisher that a faculty member must review the paper before it was printed.
Either Carter forgot or didn’t care about a university policy stating that the newspaper staff has the right to “determine the content and format of their respective publications without censorship or advance approval.”
Students rallied against Carter’s attempt at censorship.
Three of The Innovator’s staff members – editor Margaret Hosty, managing editor Jeni Porche and reporter Steven Barba – sued the university under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The students claimed, and rightfully so, that their First Amendment rights to free speech and free press had been violated.
The state attorney countered that the limits of the university’s authority over student publications were unclear, and asked the court to provide “guidance.”
The dispute began in the fall of 2000, and since then the paper has not published a single issue.
A decision is expected within the next six months.
A ruling in favor of Carter would not only limit the student press, but it would corrupt all forms of student expression.
Forced to blindly follow administrative ideologies, students would not be allowed to think freely or critically.
That means no more anti-war editorials, no more pro-life demonstrations and no more student-teacher union rallies.
That is, unless, a school official approves the content of your medium expression.
College is supposed to be an independent institution of learning.
Therefore, our college experiences should broaden our opinions and encourage our imaginations.
Any limits on student expression only stifle us. The Innovator once published news stories and editorials that were critical of the administration.
Without the freedom to express such views, college newspapers are reduced to meaningless brochures, and the college experience is nothing more than time served.
It is up to students to exercise and protect their right to freedom of speech in order to ensure that doesn’t happen.
The Temple News editorial board members are:
* Jeremy Smith, Editor in Chief
* Mike Gainer, Managing Editor
* Brian White, News Editor
* Kia Gregory, Opinion Editor
Letters to the editor can be submitted via our Web site @ www.temple-news.com under the “submissions” link. They can also be dropped off at the Temple News office located in the Student Center, Room 315.