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VSU students deserve transparency from university

Knowledge is power. In the case of the students at VSU, being informed of things that go on at our campus will give us more knowledge and power to make better, safer and more informed decisions. A little thing we like to call transparency requires the administration to be completely open with students.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Our job at The Spectator is to deliver news to students, faculty and staff at VSU. However, it becomes a little difficult to do so when the administration won’t share certain information with us or give us complete details on events or issues that occur.

We have experienced a bit of difficulty with transparency at VSU. Recently, a well-known employee was replaced with no warning whatsoever. The Spectator, along with VSU students, received no explanation. Therefore, we weren’t able to deliver you the full story of what happened and why.

As a student news organization, we fail to completely execute our job when we can only provide our readers bits and pieces of stories.

This isn’t a problem within all departments. Some are extremely open to providing us with details and the facts that we need to produce the news. Others are completely against talking to us and don’t give us anything to work with.

When the administration is open with students and informs us of the things that occur on campus, it allows us to develop informed opinions and act accordingly based on those opinions.

The editors at The Spectator believe that students at VSU have the right to be notified of the events and problematic situations that occur at the university. By attending VSU, we put our trust in the administration that they will be upfront with us and honest in a timely fashion. That trust is lost when students are left in the dark about the things we have a right to know.

Not only would administration transparency benefit us as a news organization, but it would also benefit students. When we are able to provide the campus with accurate and complete information, it makes students more informed, more aware and more protected.

President McKinney signed a free speech document at the end of the Spring 2014 semester in favor of free speech, free press and the rights of college media.

“You will really have to search far and wide for a more staunch defender of first amendment rights than me,” Dr. McKinney said in November of 2013.

We hoped that what Dr. McKinney stood for on that momentous occasion would percolate into future semesters.


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