not the answer
A contributed column by David Shi.
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not the answer
By David E. Shi
At Furman - and most institutions of higher learning - we cherish our academic and individual freedoms. Faculty members, for example, are entitled to teach their subject without fear of institutional censorship.
Our students, likewise, are encouraged to examine inherited assumptions, respect differing opinions, and express themselves freely - even at the risk of some of them being boorish.
Furman's belief in openness, honesty, tolerance and mutual respect nurtures the open exchange of ideas. We zealously guard these liberties because they are essential to liberal learning.
So I was disappointed last month to learn that copies of The Horse, the annual spoof issue of The Paladin published by the student newspaper staff, were dumped in trash bins. Although some people may be offended by the contents of The Horse, we cannot allow individuals to take upon themselves the authority to censor student publications.
Public Safety officers investigated the matter and determined that only issues of The Horse located in some academic suites were disposed of and that the removal was not the act of a single person or group.
With freedom, of course, comes responsibility, both in classrooms and across the campus. There are outlets for those who are offended by The Horse. The most effective measure is to write a letter to the editor. Other points of contact include Linda Julian, The Paladin faculty advisor, or Carol Daniels, the paper's media advisor. Student communications, including The Paladin, are governed by the constitution of the Furman Board of Student Communication. Current members of this board include William Meiere, Jessica Lightburn, Meg Mynatt, Darcy Walker, Jason Holbrook, Judy Grisel, Danielle Logan, Shealy Boland, Mac McArthur, Anna Cox, Jermaine Johnson, Lawra Cannon, Danielle Vinson and Erik Ching.
The board's responsibilities include the appointment and removal (as needed) of editors and managers. Though this power is seldom used, the board can use this provision when it feels the student newspaper or any other student publication crosses the line of legality and harms innocent people.
In the future, if you wish to voice a grievance about The Paladin or The Horse, I urge you to follow these established procedures.