This archived article was written by: Eagle staff view
Shame on the person who discarded every copy of the award-winning Eagle newspaper in the student center so it would not be seen by the Board of Regents, college presidents or state media when CEU hosted the monthly higher education meeting on its campus last Friday.
Thursday evening, the two Eagle racks on the west and east entrances of the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center were stuffed with copies of its August 28 edition. By Friday morning, all newspapers were gone. Both racks were empty and approximately 150 copies of The Eagle went missing.
You silenced the voice of the students because their newspaper did not reflect the image or content of what you wanted the Regents to see or read. How dare you second-guess what our forefathers of the U.S. Constitution gave us as a guaranteed right: the freedom of speech and the press as part of the first amendment.
The only exceptions to the general protection of freedom of speech are the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography, and commercial speech (advertising). We checked our newspaper and could not find any content or photos that violated any of these exceptions.
In fact, there were no exceptions the CEU Eagle newspaper fit into. However, let us remind you that Columbia University liked The Eagle so well that in April 2008, it awarded three first-place awards to its students and the Scholastic Press Association awarded it as one of the top two-year college newspapers in the nation. Not bad for a small newspaper whose walls are lined with certificates of merit over the past decades.
Over the years, freedom of speech has been questioned because it covers unpopular ideas that people find distasteful or against public policy, such as racism. So what did the writers and editors of the Aug. 28 edition write to warrant such retaliation? And further, did the culprit expect the Eagle staff to not care?
Thomas Jefferson would be turning in his grave if he knew that someone from little ole CEU broke one of his finest crafted amendments to the constitution 217 years after it was ratified back on Dec. 15, 1791. That amendment stated, “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.” That law is applicable to everyone, even if stories reflect negative events on campus.
The Eagle writers’ rights have been violated. You legally cannot silence our voices.
Read The Eagle online – it’s free and on the web before the print version comes out, usually. It usually gets over 50,000 hits per month so we know it is read often. On August 25, CEU’s IT department broke a link to the site and it went down. Twelve days later, they fixed the link. No comment.