Torch Governing Document
The Torch is the student newspaper at Ferris State University. Its content is determined solely by the students who comprise the editorial staff of the newspaper. Any student may apply for a staff position at the Torch. The only absolute requirement for employment at the Torch is student status. This student press at Ferris State University shall be free of censorship as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Student editors and managers are free to determine editorial policies and news coverage and content without interference from the faculty, staff or administration of Ferris State University. The student newspaper shall not be subjected to policies that constitute prior restraint, such as advance approval of copy, or to policies that produce a chilling effect on student press freedom. Ferris State University recognizes the value of the free and open discussion facilitated by the student newspaper and encourages faculty, staff and students to take an active interest in the newspaper. The student newspaper at Ferris State University is administered through the Department of Languages and Literature. The role of the department is to serve as a link between the newspaper and the university and to assist the newspaper in its efforts to meet the needs of the community it serves. The department provides the newspaper with an adviser and support in the form of information needed to operate within the policies of Ferris State University. The university also provides support in other areas, such as computer upgrades and technological help, as well as an office spaces in Rankin Center.
The Editor-in-chief is the chief executive officer of the Torch. He/she directs all of the paper’s editorial and production activities. The editor-in-chief is responsible for all major policy decisions of the newspaper that are not decided elsewhere and for ensuring that the Torch follows all relevant university policies. The editor-in-chief should be considered the leader of a management team responsible for publishing a quality, independent student newspaper responsive to the needs of the campus community it serves. The editor-in-chief determines the editorial content of the Torch (any exceptions will be noted in the Torch Policy Manual). On matters unrelated to editorial content, the editor-in-chief is under the administrative supervision of the Torch faculty adviser and the Department of Languages and Literature.
The Adviser is a faculty member in the Languages and Literature Department with experience in journalism or a related field who helps the Torch staff maintain professional journalistic standards. The adviser has no decision-making power regarding the content of the newspaper. He/she should not be involved in determining the content of the paper except in an advisory capacity and as specifically requested by the Torch staff. The adviser helps determine business policy for the paper, including oversight of the budgeting process.
The Head of the Languages and Literature Department is responsible for approving Torch requests for purchases and hiring. The Head is also the final arbiter of complaints against the Torch.
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