Banned but not silenced

Dear Student Body:

We, The Gramblinite, regret to inform you that Homecoming events sponsored by the Favrot Student Union Board will not be covered in this Homecoming edition. The Student Union Board took an action that was tantamount to censorship, apparently in retaliation for an article The Gramblinite published on Oct. 19.

In that Oct. 19 edition, we ran a mid-term report card, in which we graded several entities of the university. As editors, we collaborated and acquired input from our fellow student body to come up with grades we felt represented each section of the campus respectfully. We figured it would be informative, not only to our peers but also to the administration, providing them insight on how students felt. This report card was published on the Opinion page, so there was no need to put a disclaimer on it.

Nonetheless, information reached us that certain high-ranking officials of the Student Union Board were so displeased with their “F” grade that they announced we would be denied press passes to cover events sponsored by the Student Union Board. Such threats have been made in the past by various campus entities, so of course, we took this threat with a grain of salt. That is, until we were actually denied passes. We were, however, eventually given ONE pass to be used by every reporter and photographer to cover all events. (We traditionally receive anywhere from six to 12 passes, depending on the number of events scheduled.)

After inquiring about this matter, we were told “one pass per outlet.” However, it was later brought to our attention that several organizations and other media units were given multiple passes. We feel as if we were being punished for voicing our opinions.

Does this mean that we can expect to be denied access to future happenings? We certainly hope that is not the case. Does this mean we will not report controversial stories or cease to voice our opinion when met with opposition? Most assuredly not.

We, the editorial board of The Gramblinite, have taken a unanimous stance to not cover any Homecoming events sponsored by the Favrot Student Union Board. We would like to apologize to all of the students, celebrities, artists and others who worked their hearts out to ensure the success of Homecoming, but we feel we cannot provide coverage of Union Board-sponsored events.

While we offer this apology to you, the student body, and our other readers, we feel the apology should be coming from the Student Union Board. Their denying us access to activities results in you being denied the opportunity to remember and relish Homecoming 2006 or to vicariously experience what you may have missed through our usual stories and photos.

We want to invite anyone who has a complaint against or comment about The Gramblinite to either write a letter to the editor, which we will publish, or come to our meeting at 4 p.m. Monday and talk to us directly. This is a STUDENT newspaper, done by students for students, and we take seriously our commitment to the student body. We only wish the Favrot Student Union Board felt the same way. We hope by voicing our opinion on this matter, the issue of censorship through denied access never again arises at Grambling State University.




The Gramblinite