By Anya Annear | Assistant News Editor
Senate received their first ever student perspective submission of the school year from first-year Liam Smith. He stated, “I believe that certain campus media institutions have produced messages that are directly targeted at members of the Officer Core in ways that only seek to slander and demean.”
In the student perspective Smith submitted, he expressed that he believed the Falcon is abusing their power and publishing content that is dangerous to the university.
Smith submitted this perspective in response to both The Falcon’s News Editor Kim See’s article and The Falcon’s Editor-In-Chief Croix Boston’s letter to the readers.
“This article was completely one-sided and pleaded with readers to have sympathy for the former vice president of finance, and reject the president’s decision. The piece seemed more like a platform for the former vice president to damage the president personally,” said Smith.
Smith also stated that The Falcon attacked the university by undermining “the integrity of the institution of student government and of the university as a whole.”
“Such reporting is very biased, not credible and libelous. Thus, libel guidelines need to be established, and any breach of those guidelines must result in an immediate withdrawal of funding,” Smith said.
Editorial policies can be found for all student media groups in the Student Media Guidelines. This includes the ethics code from the Society of Professional Journalists found in section 12 of the policies.
In this case, the argument is pertaining to The Falcon’s news article written by See regarding the ASSP vice president of finance’s resignation due to discrimination in ASSP Core.
According to Boston, the Falcon’s editor-in-chief, for material to be libelous, it must be false.
“The Falcon would be glad to address [errors] publicly. However, we have yet to receive any notice of errors or misrepresentations,” Boston said.
Smith has not provided any evidence that the article is false.
“To pursue action against the Falcon on this basis would go against core values in U.S. law and society,” Boston said.
Smith also claims that See’s article is not a fair portrayal of the president, stating, “My concern is how the article is presented, both in Kim See’s article and in the letter to the editor-in-chief.”
Boston read part of his article in response to Smith’s accusation that Boston was “ripping Mary Liu apart”.
“As a student leader at SPU for the past three years, I have made many mistakes, but that does not mean I am not fit lead or unable to learn how to lead appropriately. Was Liu in the wrong? Absolutely… Even though I may disbelieve in the way Liu communicated her internal struggle, I respect her honesty and openness,” Boston read.
“Without honesty one can not maintain their integrity, and without integrity one cannot maintain, well, one cannot remain dignified. She publicly took responsibility for the pain she caused O’Hara and her fellow core members albeit a tad alte and after much, much encouragement. Nevertheless she was held accountable,” Boston explained.
After Boston read parts of his op-ed, he replied to Smith’s accusations, finding there to be a lack of evidence on Smith’s part. He also mentioned that he asked readers to reflect on the idea of an institution that does not recognize people of demographics within its population, like the LGBTQ+ community.
“All I call for is to put pressure on the university, and all that holds true power, including your friends. If you want to make a long-term impact, then don’t spend your money here. That is not a call to pull out your money,” Boston said.
Smith, however, believes that the university strives to educate its students in and throughout the world. It is his goal to establish a bill outlining libel guidelines for all campus media, affecting whether senate funds or withholds funding for those organizations.
Boston then pointed out that “there is language shared by both the [Board of Student Media] guidelines and the ASSP constitution which forbids budget decisions being made on the basis of the media content. The constitution contains language on BSM beginning on page 33, article 1, section 8. Page 35 states that ‘ASSP shall not make any budgetary decisions based on the content of student media.’”
Smith stated that The Falcon needs to strive towards fostering a discussion of truth, morally and educationally. As senate drew to a close after the discussion was extended three different times Smith explained, “My issue is the way it was presented, not the content.”
Senate takes this perspective seriously and wants students to feel like they have a voice that is heard at SPU.
In the end, Senate decided to form a subcommittee to further discuss the issue of The Falcon’s representation of students, including the student government here on campus.
In Other Business:
ASSP President Mary Liu announced the Senior Gift Committee is looking for ways to raise money for the senior gift of the 2017-2018 senior class.
“One idea we had was to have a table at Shaapdoohya to pie somebody, mainly professors,” Liu said. “Would you pay a dollar to nominate somebody to pie?”
Many people at Senate said that they would.
ASSP Executive Vice President Danielle Meier announced the Leadership Celebration, a time to honor the leaders of the 2018-2019 school year. This celebration will be Tuesday, May 15 at 415 Westlake, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Meier announced the Leadership Kick-Off for the 2018-2019 leaders. Student leaders for the next school year will meet their teams and have time to bond as they look forward to the upcoming year. This celebration will be Friday May 18; the location for it will be announced in the near future.
Meier also announced that she is still looking for students to join the Constitutional Advisory Board.
“This group is particularly important during Spring Quarter when we need to review bylaws and any other changes to the constitution,” Meier said.
Meier announced that State of the Association (SOTA) is this Wednesday, May 2, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“This will be SPU’s third and final quarter of opening a space of transparency and just letting students in on what we have been doing an elaborate on what’s happening in ASSP,” Meier said.
ASSP Vice President of Campus Activities Garrett Berkey announced that the club funds stands at $ 3,300.