An Open Letter to Hutchinson Community College

by The Cowley Press Staff

To Whom it may Concern,

On May 1, 2017, the president of Hutchinson Community College (HCC), Carter File, shut down the college newspaper, The Collegian, for the remainder of the semester.  Along with cancelling the last issue of the paper, terminating four classes and locking the doors to the journalism lab, the adviser was suspended. If you don’t see the problem, let me lay it out for you, college papers, such as The Cowley Press and The Collegian, are protected by the First Amendment. As a matter of fact student journalists enjoy the same protections under the constitution as professional journalists.

Freedom of Speech is vital in the world we live in today. The full details of the dispute between the adviser, his staff and File are difficult to confirm. What has been published through various news outlets is that File reacted to an article in the Dec. 2, 2016 issue of The Collegian.  The article reported incidences of “bullying of faculty.” The Collegian printed, this lead to the shutting down of the program. Whether we write stories about faculty members and the foul play that they do or a new sport coming to campus we as a press staff deserve our first amendment rights.

We stick by The Collegian for using these first amendment rights.  “Montgomery calls it an absolute planned conspiracy to deny these students their First Amendment rights.” According to the in a May 8 article. Hutchinson Community College went out of their way to undermine a faculty member and an entire student run staff.

To be functional in society we must use these rights as they were written hundreds of years ago.

The Collegian felt it was necessary to uncover and show the prominence of faculty bullying and undermining. Knowing that their department head is bullying your math instructor is significant knowledge to carry with you. As a press staff, it is their right to spread this knowledge.

The Cowley Press has always and will always defend our fellow publication staffs and their pursuit to spread truth.

With full support,

The Cowley Press Staff