“Truth, Fairness and Accuracy” is part of the slogan the Torch depends on to serve our readers the news and information of the Ferris community.
We understand that being a part of the media world we will have readers from time-to-time that disagree with information, opinions, comics and other coverage. The Torch strives to inform and provide a voice to and for the Ferris community.
The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech and that of those who may disagree with us or our content. This summer, we ran a summer edition that was released May 16 and the content created quite a stir among some parties. It’s great to hear people talking about the paper, it’s sad when that conversation is stifled for others. Our latest edition, that is available all summer long, is typically included in the orientation packets of new Ferris students but that was not the case for this incoming class of Bulldogs.
This was a decision made by the Office of Student Life, which oversees orientation stating our content was “negative, harsh, disrespectful” against Ferris students and the University. Nowhere in the edition do my staff members or I see such, all I see is truth about students’ experiences and their opinions, and certainly nothing that would be out-of-line in other newspapers across the country, college or not.
The letter from the Orientation office stated we had several inappropriate topics and personally biased articles. Some including alcohol and partying, were included, both of which were how to deal with a potentially negative situation if caught in one. Nowhere in the Torch were alcohol abuse or illegal activity promoted or displayed. But our readers are adults and can handle reading such content. It’s not impossible that a large number of students will be involved with a drinking scenario or run into the police, sober or not. This information shouldn’t be hidden from the eyes of new students because having fun while attending college may include alcohol. This is not a dirty, little secret. The rest of the content in question, though true, poked fun at complaints that we have had or heard around campus. Who doesn’t know someone without a parking ticket?
I support the work of our Torch staff in selecting, writing, sharing their experiences stories and information. Though extremely disappointed in the University’s handling of the situation, removing access to information, I respect their freedom to have an opinion regarding the Torch’s content.
The content in the Torch does not mean in any way that we dislike Ferris. We are here and we will be proud alumni. We work, learn grow and ‘Imagine More’ together, as a community. And, a community has the right to a press free from removal as a result of disagreement.
I am confident this won’t be the last time this year that someone has an opinion that is not the same as one printed in the Torch. As such, I am personally inviting you to tell us about it, write a letter to the editor, comment on our website and talk about it with your fellow Bulldogs. But don’t take the newspaper, and the right to read it, out of someone else’s hands.