Letter to the Editor
September 9, 2016
I will gladly be the first to point out an administrative flaw, and the last to leave a conversation regarding the most recent controversy. And like the faculty I admire, it comes from a fierce sense of pride in my school. And the school itself bore this, through classes and campus initiatives that emphasized free speech and a progressive classroom environment. I refuse to let the school I love be brought down by a lack of constructive criticism.
Over the summer, I expressed this pride by mentioning the campus’s treatment of Shayne Stone and the beautiful article written about his role on campus, in the pool, and in our fraternity. Having passed by it every day on the way out of my fraternity where it is bulletined, I have grown fond of it. I later discovered that every paper copy distributed outside the CSB was collected and destroyed, and the online post removed at the request of a benefactor.
I pose this question to the Monmouth Administration: What message do you wish to send? This four year “ILA” curriculum touting the importance of liberal arts has crammed the idea of activism and awareness into the head of every student since before I arrived. You’ve filled this campus with women and men who are meant to build a world based on independent free voices unburdened by academic ignorance and social illiteracy. How do you hope to continue doing so by attempting to erase the history of a monumental article, and stifling the voices and actions of students in favor of a trustee’s wishes?
“We will share openly our own values, thoughts, and beliefs just as we will listen thoughtfully and with an open mind to the values, thoughts, and beliefs of others;” – The Monmouth College Pledge 2016
This is a response to the letter to the editor written by Cole Downey. Copies of the Courier edition of February 5, 2016 were not collected and destroyed. They were moved – by me – from one table to another table in Huff for a display on family day. I moved the February 5 edition to make room for two additional editions of the paper I delivered to Huff that day. Copies of the February 5 edition were on the table when I delivered the additional papers, and they on the table at the end of the day. They were never removed.
The online version of the February 5 edition carried the Shayne Stone story as the first item. We cannot retrieve the online edition because that edition and all other editions posted from 2012 to present have not yet been archived by the library. There was no mysterious benefactor who asked me or anyone else that the online edition be removed. Future editions of the online edition of the Courier will be archived by Courier staff.
The article on Shayne Stone was one of the Courier’s finest examples of in-depth student journalism. It has and will be submitted for multiple journalism awards.
Director, Student Publications