Following the protest

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Following the protest

The Observer Staff

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Editor’s Note: On Nov. 14, this story was updated. In the previous version, a quote was cut off. It was corrected to, “If one party chooses to not be present for the meeting a resolution will be created without that parties presences.” 

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On Nov. 7 the university released a statement following an editorial made by The Observer on Nov. 6 discussing content regulation and administrative censorship. 

“CWU leadership has spoken with the ASCWU president, who is scheduling a forum with student media to discuss these issues,” the statement said. “We are looking forward to an open and honest dialogue on the issues brought forward by student media.” 

Kyle Wilkinson

On Nov. 12 ASCWU President Jasmin Washington sent a calendar invite for Monday, Nov. 18. The notice was sent to Vice President of Public Affairs Kremiere Jackson, Dean of Student Success Gregg Heinselman, Associate Dean for Health and Wellness Shawnté Elbert, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Caleb Dunlop, the official student government emails, The Observer’s Editor-in-Chief Cassandra Hays, News Editor Nicholas Tucker, Senior Sports Reporter Austin Lane and Online Editor Mariah Valles. 

The notice says that while ASCWU was not present for the meeting in April, they drafted questions for the upcoming meeting to “maintain a healthy dialogue.” 

One condition that The Observer had moving forward was that all meetings would be recorded. This is to be sure that all parties are held accountable. 

“As a team, ASCWU felt that it would be inappropriate for recordings to take place,” the notice said. “ASCWU would like to ensure that the dialogue is honest/transparent and allowing recordings can hinder many people from sharing valuable information.”

Washington continued by saying that while recordings won’t be permitted, all parties involved can take “detailed minutes.” 

“If one party chooses to not be present for the meeting a resolution will be created without that parties presences,” the notice said. “ASCWU encourages that both parties attend this meeting to let their voices be heard and for an honest conversation about steps to move forward.” 

 

Protest and Response

On Nov. 6 The Observer released a story titled, “The Observer stands for a free and unregulated press.” 

Student journalists and supporters stood outside of Lind, Bouillon and the SURC protesting against administrative content regulation and censorship, according to The Observer’s Facebook page. Protesters handed out newspapers, chanted and talked about the story released yesterday. 

The university released a statement on Nov. 6 regarding the recent events with student media.

“Central Washington University in no way censors its students,” the statement said.

“As part of this learning and teaching opportunity, on occasion, we have requested that the  topics or subjects of an interview be provided in advance in order to allow the person being interviewed an opportunity to prepare informed answers. The intent is not to require that all questions be submitted in advance but rather to offer some context for the interview so the person being interviewed can provide informed responses,” the statement said. 

Later in the statement, the university said CWU leadership has spoken with ASCWU President Jasmin Washington who is scheduling a forum with student media to discuss the issues.

Student government posted a statement on Facebook and Twitter.

“The Associated Students of Central Washington University officers work to represent all students equally and fairly and to ensure that their voices are heard,” the statement said. “ASCWU respects and appreciates that student media has exercised that voice.”

In the statement, the university said they requested topics or subjects in advance, but The Observer has screenshots published on cwuobserver.com showing administrators requesting questions.

 

How you can help

There have been multiple instances where people have asked how they can support us in this time.

One way to help is by sharing our stories both by word of mouth and on social media. Sharing our stories helps spread the message further. 

Another way you can help is by writing letters to administration. It’s been suggested to send letters to the Office of the President. 

If you choose to take this route, we’d love to have them emailed to us also at [email protected]

If you’re considering donating to student media, it’s important to note that you must go through the CWU Foundation. You can learn about exact procedures at cwu.edu/foundation. 

The Observer would like to thank the community for their support.

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