NCAC has co-signed a letter to Texas State University (TSU) demanding that freedom of speech and freedom of the press be upheld on its campus. Following the publication of a controversial editorial, an independent student newspaper at TSU has been threatened with revocation of funding and an imposed review of its editorial process. The controversial editorial, as well as the editorial process that led to its publication, are protected under the First Amendment. While criticism and dialogue are anticipated results of publishing provocative opinions, TSU must ensure that the newspaper is free to maintain its editorial independence and its funding.
The University Star published a racially-charged editorial that sparked controversy on TSU’s campus and attracted widespread media attention. The paper issued an apology the following day and TSU’s president, Denise M. Trauth, issued a statement chastising the paper’s editors for their judgment. Other student groups demanded the resignations of the editorial’s author, as well as the paper’s editor-in-chief and opinions editor, under threat of rescinding the publication’s funding. TSU’s administration has issued comments suggesting that they are considering imposing editorial oversight on the independent newspaper and have yet to confirm that the paper’s funding will be protected.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization dedicated to defending freedom of speech on college campuses, composed the letter to TSU President Trauth, with NCAC and the Student Press Law Center as co-signatories.
Read the full letter below; click here for a full screen view.