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Conservative Paper at OSU Censored by Administration

Our friends at The Liberty, the conservative student publication at Oregon State, are currently in a kerfuffle with the administration over their right to distribute issues. The OSU administration told The Liberty that, since it’s not an officially recognized OSU publication (whatever that means), it can’t have distribution boxes around campus. The Liberty says this is little more than de facto censorship. From a guest opinion in the Daily Barometer:

To censor, as a transitive verb, means “to keep from being published or transmitted: ban, black out, hush (up), stifle, [or] suppress.” Todd Simmons, OSU’s spokesperson, said in an interview with KEZI regarding the University’s treatment of The Liberty’s distribution, “I have never seen an instance that they haven’t been readily available at multiple locations around campus. So if that qualifies as censorship, I’d have to be educated as to what the thinking is there.” If we don’t count the term (winter ’09) that OSU officials ordered the removal every single Liberty bin from the OSU campus and tossed them by a dumpster at 35th and Washington, then the multiple locations that Mr. Simmons is referring to are The Memorial Union and Snell Hall. In other words, the only locations that the university is allowing The Liberty to place its bins are in and around the buildings that are owned and run by the student body (ASOSU). By restricting our publication to a single block, if even that, of campus, OSU officials are stifling and therefore censoring The Liberty.

The OSU administration also claims the Daily Barometer’s long history and association with the university give it special rights to distribution. Sorry, but the First Amendment doesn’t work on the merit system. OSU needs to give all of its student publications equal access to campus, regardless of their history or how much the administration likes them.

  1. […] 6, 2009 So I just read an interesting blog post on The Oregon Commentator. Apparently OSU has attempted to run a student produced pubication off campus, legal free speach […]

  2. Alex Peters says:

    Corvallis is my home. My home is the yuppie, human cesspool of this state.

  3. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    Dane,

    The EW distributes on campus here, and has had only one of its bins removed for violations of University policy (as opposed to 6 or 7 Liberty bins). It is also worth noting that the Liberty was never contacted prior to the removal of these bins, and that University Facilities Services demanded (word choice is an accurate reflection of the attitude of University staff) the removal of two bins from campus facilities which they did not manage and did not have responsibility for (two Dining Centers managed by University Housing and Dining Services)

    The OSU Daily Barometer has been in collusion with University Administration for years. Following the “Blackface Scandal” of years past (which I had the pleasure of writing about in the OC), the University administration planned a week worth of events to counter the swell of anti-African American sentiment on campus (read: make a much bigger deal than necessary about some kids painting their faces at a football game). According to a meeting agenda I managed to get a hold of, one of these planned activities was a “special edition on inclusion” of the OSU Daily Barometer.

    Now this may sound innocent enough, but the scary part of this is that the editorial content of the student newspaper was being discussed in a meeting facilitated by the University President and the Vice-Provost for Student Affairs. The planned “inclusion issue” never materialized, at least partially (or so I like to think) because I published an opinion column (as well as photographs of the documents I acquired) in The Liberty detailing the above.

    Whilst I no longer edit the Liberty, and am not particularly active in campus politics these days, I can say with relative certainty that the Barometer is probably the worst student daily in the Pac-10, and that its editors should be ashamed of themselves if they ever worked with or allowed editorial content to be influenced University Administration in any way.

  4. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Oops…wrong thread. Guess I have been drinking more whiskey than I thought.

    I’ll re-post in the UMRP thread.

  5. C.T. Behemoth says:

    You’ll have to access it on campus since I’m pretty sure we can do such things via the UO subscriptions to the Chronicle of Higher Ed, but Willie Wright Dziech wrote a great piece that is relevant to this discussion called “Why Academe Gets No Respect”.

    This is the only place I found a hint at it…from home

    I have a hard copy here too, in case anyone is interested I could scan it.

  6. Zombie Ayn Rand says:

    Also, I nearly forgot: BRAAAAAAAIIIIINNSS!

  7. Zombie Ayn Rand says:

    @Anthony: Let’s not pretend this is a problem with partisan politics. Replace ‘libs in the admin’ with ‘those in power’ and ‘conservative’ with ‘dissenting’ and your statement is much more universally true.

  8. Matt says:

    Also, as far as I can tell, the Barometer has not covered this story beyond this guest column.

    I did find, however, this gem.

  9. Matt says:

    I have pretty good information that when it comes to doing articles potentially critical of their administration, the Barometer ‘doesn’t do that sort of thing much.’

    University administrations, at both UO and OSU, I think are often actively afraid that the revelation of their potentially shady dealings by campus media might dissuade prospective students. It’s the proper job of campus media to recognize those concerns. But it is also their proper job to not really give a shit.

  10. Anthony says:

    Just another way for the libs in the admin to shutdown any conservative voice.

  11. Vincent says:

    Way to suck, OSU.

  12. Sakaki says:

    That’s bullshit, and the OSU Administration know it.

  13. nike urbanism duk says:

    The Barometer seems to take a extremist “support the OSU” stance. I noticed that in the series of articles they have done on the “clean and safe nukes” research the OSU does for Westinghouse. The Emerald actually seems pretty good compared to the Barometer. I suspect the claims of this other publication are valid. Considering the “partnerships” with companies like Monsanto that OSU has they have plenty of campus information that needs to be “managed”.

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