Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1971-11-121
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iveber state p. Volume 31, Number 14 Weber State College, Ogden, Utah 84403 Friday, November 12, 1971 8 Pages D Hunter replies situation better By Richard Andrews Dan Hunter, studentbody president said his aim this year has been to enlarge student voice in how the funds are spent. Along with this policy, Dan felt that Signpost should be more responsive to students. Dan said he had had a number of complaints about Signpost. He felt he could make it more responsive by changing the publications board which would put pressure on the editor by helping to bear the pressure of these people with grievances. There was an over-reaction to this by the Signpost and the senators were over critical of the Signpost according to Dan. There is a lack of communication between Signpost and student senate, Dan feels. "At no time did I tell the printer to stop printing. I called in response to a call that I had gotten that someone had called to stop Signpost." Dan looked over the paper and read the editorial and said to the printer there was no problem with this paper, print it. There was a question in his mind about libel. Dan feels very strongly about freedom of the press. "This was never a move to impede freedom of speech," he said. Dan vetoed Senate Bill 30-A which says that an editorial published in the Signpost which speaks out about a student who is a candidate for a studentbody office, will be published to allow the opponent a rebuttle. Dan said that the responsibility of a policy such as that concerning editorial backing of a candidate should be shouldered by the publications board. Dan and Jeannie Young, Signpost editor, met in Dean Dayley's office Monday to discuss the events since the Thursday night's Senate meeting. They both agreed that student government and Signpost had over-reacted to the situation; now both factions of the studentbody needed to work to have a better understanding to help cool the situation. More power By Ray Nassar Noel Blonquist, a senator said that he felt that the long range goals of the cabinet are right. "I feel the publications board needs to be streamlined and made up of people not involved with putting out the Signpost," Noel said. The issue is the efficiency of the paper to cover areas concerning student interest according to Noel. He felt that Signpost editor, Jeannie Young was not doing a suitable job. Blonquist didn't feel the old publications board did a very good job," "that is, the job it's supposed to do," he further stated. When asked about solutions, Noel said he has no idea of how to work out the problems. "I also feel," said Noel, "that student government should have ultimate power over student activities. Of course, it should be responsible too." Dayley says it's COOling News analysis By Paul Stander A "cooling off" period was strongly recommended by the Dean of Students over the widespread controversy arising from the sudden creation of a new publications board. Dr. Alan J. Dayley said in an interview Tuesday: "I don't approve of the type of tactics that were used to push this measure through." He went on to say that even though both sides have legal rights to dissolve boards in haste and pass petitions in anger, what is really needed is good judgment. In a meeting with ASWSC President Dan Hunter and Signpost editor Jeannie Young, Dean Dayley tried to clear the air and straighten rumors. He felt the meeting was productive, as it brought an end to many impeachment petitions and bitter feelings. As for the senate action itself. Dean Dayley objected to several methods used. First, the members of the previously established board were not consulted. Second, the student government advisors were not as fully involved as they should have been. Third, the number of legitimate complaints about any school publications should have been referred to the individual editors for action first, then to the old publications board, and if there was still no action, to the executive cabinet, last. While the new provisional publications board has not been constituted, Dean Dayley said it has, in its present form, the potential to become an executive branch. He suggests people outside the influence of the senate and administration be appointed to the final board. He has no objections to a responsible, student-control-led publications board, but he doesn't feel it is proper for the present board to examine itself, investigate its own expansion, or determine when it will become permanent. He feels they are too new at the job to know what is expected of them. It is unusual for a committee to study itself, and the Dean questions this procedure. Dean Dayley warned against overaction (as can be seen in numerous counter-petitions), and stressed the point; "two wrongs don't make a right." Students give opinions By Kerry Bate The controversies currently raging on campus over control of the student newspaper and whether or not the newspaper should take a political stand on student elections were the subject of a recent survey. There were two questions asked of a number of students, who were picked at random. The first question was whether or not a newspaper should be student controlled, administration controlled, or controlled by student government through appointments. Suzann Johnson, echoing the feelings of all of the students interviewed, said "I think that a student newspaper should be run by the students. "- Another student, Sandra Dunn, elaborated that point, saying that, "to be unbiased, it should be run by the students." Differentiation was drawn between independent student control, and direct control by student government. Cynthia Packham said that, "I feel a newspaper should be controlled by students. Student government is biased and has special interests. So does the administration. Some kind of independent student group would be the best solution." Hostility to the administration was expressed by Kay Sheron, who felt the way she did, "because I feel that the students should have more say than the administration. Everything the students want the administration downcasts. The administration tries to overpower everybody." The second question asked was, "should a student newspaper be able, on the editorial page," to support certain candidates in elections?" The sentiment here was also unanimous. Dennis Wakefield, speaking, it seems, for a number of students, said, "No, becuase I think the value of the newspaper is in presenting both sides of the question and letting the reader make up his own mind." This survey, primitive as the methods taking it may have been, indicates general student sentiment at Weber in favor of a newspaper controlled by students but attempting to refrain from supporting candidates in editorials. General feeling is that by supporting a candidate the newspaper ceases to be an unbiased instrument for making a decision, and then becomes a political tool to be used by various candidates. Smout supports new board By Paul Stander The WSC Coodinator of Student Government said he supports the new publications board created last week 100 percent. Curtis Smout said in an interview Tuesday, he feels the whole issue has been "blown out of proportion." Mr. Smout admits the legislation was a rather fast move, but he thinks the intent of the cabinet is to make the publications board a more functional and more student-oriented power. When asked what he thought the temporary board would eventually boil down to, in terms of actual improvement, he said the new panel would probably remain small (it is presently six people), and give more representative power to the students, (the old board had seven faculty, five students). Mr. Smout feels the senate acted hastily in this matter because of a lack of rapport with the old board. There were several individuals on this committee Mr. Smout suspects weren't trusted by the majority of the legislative body, and did not understand why they were on the board. Mr. Smout said this action was a part of the campus wide trend of more students getting involved in the matters that govern their activities at Weber State. Senate-Signpost battle recapped Editor's not: Barbara, you will recall, it the author of the controversial editorial "Senate learns new word - Censorship" By Barbara O'Shell Political Editor Editor note: Student senate, executive cabinet and the Signpost locked horns again in this week's senate session, culminating a week long battle in which no one emerged the wjnner. Conflict is not only unresolved; but the issues are not clearly defined. Early in the day, petitions had been circulated, coming from the Signpost office, demanding that an investigation be made of alleged attempts by the studentbody president, Dan Hunter, to stop the printing of the student newspaper and demanding that the president be impeached if the charge could be proven. Discussing the impeachment issue in executive cabinet session, Phil Johnson, ASWSC financial vice president, had stated, "We're all behind Dan. If they're going to call a recall on one, they just as well do the whole damn thing." Tom Davenport, activities vice president, added, "If Dan Hunter is impeached by the things which we did as an executive cabinet, then I personally will resign." Every member of the executive cabinet went on record as supporting Dan Hunter, with the exception of Dr. Dayley, Dean of Students, who was not present when the decision was made. However, earlier in the same day, in closed session, it was reported that Dan Hunter failed to receive a vote of confidence from his cabinet. It was decided by a vote of 4-2 that the cabinet would not seek a supreme court injunction to stop publication of the Signpost. Unresolved questions seem to revolve around constitutionality and legality. Who is the legal owner and publisher of the Signpost? Who is liable in event of a libel suit? If the studentbody president can be named as a defendant in a libel suit against the Signpost, then is he considered the legal publisher? And if he is, in fact, the Signpost publisher, does he then have the legal authority to stop publication? Also, if the Signpost should print libelous material against the studentbody president, what recourse does he have? There is also the question of constitutionality involving the publications board created by the senate. Is it the senate or the executive cabinet which has the authority to establish a publications board? . ASWS.C constitution states that the executive cabinet has the duty and responsiblity to "establish councils, boards, and bureaus and to take action on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Associated Students that may not be covered by statute." The constitution lists under the duties and responsibilities of the president: "The president shall be responsible to the Administration and Board of Trustees of WSC for all functions of the Associated Students." Another vital question is: How could student government remove an incompetent newspaper editor from office without being charged with interferrine with the freedom of the press? It was pointed out in executive cabinet that an irresponsible press could charge, try, and convict someone without giving him a chance to defend himself. The censorship issue had been raised by a previous Signpost editorial protesting the election by-laws and the rider attached to the Signpost budget, both of which contained stipulations concerning editorial policy during a studentbody election. Studentbody president, Dan Hunter, has, since that time, vetoed the election by-laws. The Signpost budget rider was repealed unanimously In special session of senate. It was in this same special session that the new publication board was created which has a 3-3 student membership ratio. The previous board had only a 5-7 ratio with the 7 votes belonging to faculty and administration. In Monday's regular senate session, Jeannie Young, Signpost editor, was questioned concerning the contents of the coming Tuesday edition of the paper. She stated, "It isn't going to be a smear." After she had described the front page, Senator Rex Stevens remarked that it would prove that the senate hadn't censored them "or that wouldn't be in there." Senator Don Hughes moved that the senate appeal to the ASWSC supreme court to call for an injunction against both the publications and the executive cabinet to prevent any further action by either group in the area of publications until the whole matter of constitutionality could be cleared up. The motion failed by a vote of 6-4. Debate seemed to indicate that senators feared recrimination from the Signpost. Senator Glen Curtis introduced SB 6-72 which would change the membership of the WSC publications board again. Curtis has a vested interest in this case since he happens to be the Signpost business manager and can be fired by the publications board. The bill was referred to investigations committee. It should be reported out of committee and debated in senate next Monday night. Legislative vice president, Fran Wheeler, had objected to the Curtis bill earlier in executive cabinet, pointing out that it would be useless to create a second provisional board. The publications board is scheduled to meet for the first time next Monday. Speculation at this time is still running high as to whether or not the new board intends to dismiss the Signpost editor.
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1971-11-12, Vol. 31, No. 14|
|Creator||Weber State College|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber College; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State College|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|