As we find ourselves submersed in a wire-tapped, Apple-ridden, and uncertain society (both economically and politically), such as the one that we live in today, the advocation, justification, and practice of freedom of speech is especially critical.
The cultural concepts and ideals that govern our daily lives (along with a number of other factors) shape the way we see the world.
Religious influence (or lack thereof), peer pressure, and duty to succeed, all measure in this equation- just to name a few.
Environment in general, though, may have the greatest impact of all. And when you’re spending a chunk of your life “learning” how to live it, like at a university, every experience must be taken into account.
When I started at Quinnipiac, I couldn’t help but see that few people took much interest (noticeably, at least) in the outside world.
From our little brick-laden bubble tucked away in the corner of the Mt. Carmel section of Hamden, students from places like Jersey and Nassau County seemed to be mostly concerned with owning North Face fleeces, how to wear Ugg boots, , and the best way to hop the shuttle “drunk bus” to the New Haven clubs.
The apparent frivolity of our university led to a 2004 investigative Yale report that may or may not have subversively mocked our school (I say it has, but it’s all in the interpretation).
Two years later, a writer for the Quinnipiac Chronicle responded to allegations published on Princeton’s “Election? What election?” list, allegations that claimed we were the second most apathetic school in the nation. (join the princeton review website, because you can’t see this report for yourself otherwise)
Less than fourteen months after the now-Editor-in-Chief of the Chronicle defended the integrity and intelligence of our school in that article, he now faces a journalist’s nightmare.
Once he criticized the QU admistration’s handling of social justice issues, Jason Braff has been bullied by President Lahey and his cabinet, who have all threatened that he must step down from his position if he doesn’t shut up.
Teachers and students alike are enraged, but a portion of the former aren’t allowed to say so, though I’m sure they’d love to. Some can speak freely to the press (still putting their jobs on the line in the meantime), while those in administrative positions may not, even if it goes against everything they’ve learned in the field.
No interviews with deans are allowed with either outside or internal media sources, and only statements released by the QU P.R. department are publishable under any administrator’s name. Also, no content may go up on the web until the print version’s been stacked up in places like the ABL entrance or Student Center.
Anyone who violates these mandates is punishable, under Lahey Law.
On October 31, another Chronicle editor, Kendra Butters, essentially informed the “dinosaurs” that in this progressive reality, voices cannot be silenced, especially when those most intent on speaking not only know how to use the internet, but want to, or must be, heard.
The Waterbury Republican-American ran this November 13 article that exposed what was going at our school. Student response to this crisis has been scattered, but passionate.
A “Facebook” group, called “Support Jay Braff and the Chronicle” (you may need membership to view the site), has been started, and the issue’s been discussed in hushed voices throughout the School of Communications.
Quinnipiac may have successful entrepreneurship programs and high-profile investors like the sons of the founder of Lender’s Bagels, but these assets are useless without a solid moral and inventive ground to stand on.
If the QU pushers want to keep bragging about the Ed McMahon Center, then change of policy is absolutely necessary.