In Support of a Free Press and Academic Freedom at Loyola
We, the below signed faculty members in the School of Communication, teach our students the value of free speech, a free and open exchange of ideas, and transparency.These values are instrumental to the professions we prepare our students for. We believe that Loyola’s Media Relations Policy is not in accordance with these values.
We also believe that this policy is in conflict with Loyola’s community standards, which recognize the “importance of its role as a marketplace of ideas, where freedom of inquiry and open exchange of conflicting viewpoints is supported and encouraged. Such discourse is essential for the University to uphold the Jesuit mission of 'service of faith and promotion of justice.'" (section 603 of the community standards).
We support the staff of The Phoenix and request that student media be exempt from the current Media Relations Policy. And although we support UMC’s efforts to streamline media requests and will co-operate when feasible, we also reserve the right to engage with members of the media, both student media and other media, without notifying UMC beforehand. The faculty handbook states that “the university shall not abridge the right of faculty to speak, write, teach, create art and conduct research.” Preventing faculty from interacting directly with media in general and student media in particular, constitutes an abridgement of our right to speak.
Although we understand the need to manage media relations, we believe that this policy fails to consider values crucial to the Jesuit education and we request that it be revised in a spirit of shared-governance, where all stakeholders get a voice in the process. We would welcome the opportunity to contribute to this process. In the meantime, we request that a moratorium be placed on the current guidelines.