The Equinox is dismayed and confused that Director of Admissions Drew Ippolito took it upon himself to call for the removal of the March 30 issue of The Equinox before Admitted Students Day.
“I had wanted any discussion about the newspaper, its stories, etc., to occur with the Equinox representatives that were on hand at the Student Union Building (SUB) that afternoon for Admitted Students Day,” Ippolito said in his email of confession and apology to The Equinox.
He stated that he wanted incoming students to discuss the stories in the newspaper with us personally, but what was so controversial or damaging to the school’s image that it would have warranted an in-person explanation? The front page was giving information and positive publicity for the hotel that’s to be built on campus. We announced that The Equinox won statewide awards for the third consecutive year, highlighted a beloved adjunct professor and noteworthy library staff member, interviewed sports coaches, etc. – all positive things. Beyond that, there was one editorial that discussed a meeting between a member of the SGA and The Equinox editorial board regarding criticism from the Director of Student Life.
Incoming students would not have known about the issues The Equinox has been having with Student Life and the SGA, and they would not know to come talk to Equinox personnel if there were no papers for them to inquire about. Literally every single paper from the SUB, Becton Hall, the Library, University Hall, Alumni Hall, and the outdoor kiosk between Alumni and University Hall had been taken.
The Equinox editorial board spends about 20 hours producing each issue of the newspaper and pays $630 or more to print each issue of paper. We also had $440 worth of paid ads in that issue. Our days of hard work and almost a $1,000 were literally thrown in the trash when Ippolito directed Facilities to remove our papers.
The whole point of higher education is to prepare students for professional life, but if our papers are being removed when someone objects to something, then we must ask the administration what kind of students they want to produce – independent thinkers or sheep.
This issue goes far beyond the removal and disposal of our papers. If we get called into meetings with the administration or SGA each time we write something of consequence or something they don’t agree with, and now if our papers are being taken for the same reason, that sends the message that the administration wants us to simply follow the company line.
If the intended goal is to generate students who blindly follow instructions, then telling us what to write is the correct method of facilitation. But if the intended goal is to generate forward-thinking and independent adults who stand up for what they believe is right, then The Equinox, and by extension, the voices of all the students at FDU, cannot continue to be stifled.
As student journalists, it is our responsibility to facilitate discussion between and among the students and administration, and to hold the administration accountable for things the student body doesn’t agree with or things in which the community is not being properly informed.
President Capuano made similar points in his letter to the FDU community after the 2016 presidential election.
“For our community in particular, we are committed now, more than ever, to freedom of expression and constructive discourse that engages, hopefully enlightens, but never demeans,” he said. “We are committed now, more than ever, to inclusiveness and tolerance that enriches discourse and preserves collegiality.”
The Editorial Board of