We’ve got the freedom

  Stop the presses. That was the command issued by administration of Southwestern College to their student newspaper.  The Southwestern College Sunwas barred from publishing its print edition, and student journalists claimed it was an issue of censorship. Staff members weren’t allowed to publish a paper before three members of the school’s governing board face re-election on Nov. 2.   “We’ve been told we can’t publish before the election,” said Max Branscomb, the paper’s faculty adviser. “It’s outrageous, it’s inexcusable, and it’s flimsy.” Agreed. College papers should be unfettered by administration. A paper’s highest loyalty should be to the truth, not to the university president.  We extend our support to the staff of The Sun and sincerely appreciate all the suffering they have endured in their fight for free speech — a right that our organization wouldn’t exist without. Standing behind them the whole time has been The Student Press Law Center (SPLC), in a non-profit organization devoted exclusively to support student journalists. SPLC, we thank you for always being on call. Your unwavering support for us and our peers across the nation gives student journalists to the courage to do their important work. You do so much more than provide free legal advice, you give us the freedom to learn and create. Finally, the Cynic sincerely appreciates the University of Vermont administration for allowing us to operate without fear of censorship. It shows a true respect for freedom of speech and the rights of the student body. Not every student paper is so fortunate. The freedom has allowed us to grow into an award-winning organization and develop individually as journalists. Their transparency and ready answers allow for a more informed student body whose voice is heard in greater proportion compared to other schools. The student body should consider itself fortunate to enjoy a community and administration that shares the views of the SPLC and a dedication to free speech.