Staff Editorial: Air your grievances

“Geek Week” by Sarah Fulton.

The Trintionian‘s status, as a student-edited press with revenue-based budgets and editors solely responsible for content, is often misunderstood but holds a special significance when it comes to being a watchdog for campus. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t have our own watchdogs””you, the reader, included. Unbeknownst to most people, campus publications (this includes The Trinitonian and the yearbook, the Mirage) is overseen by the Board of Campus Publications, who acts as our sole publisher and supervisor. The board, whose eight member team is appointed by the president of the university, approves our policies, hires the upper management team and convenes six times a year to review and evaluate the publications, management and their business operations.

Today, the board will meet for the first time this year to review the first six issues and to touch base with managers of each publication. While their opinions are valued and heard, we also wanted to give you all the opportunity to voice your concerns and opinions. As the ultimate watchdog for our publication, we feel it’s important that we give you the tools to properly air your grievances.

Below you will find the Board of Campus Publications grievance policy, which is part of the board’s charter:

Anyone having a grievance with an editorial decision or policy of a publication under the supervision of the Board of Campus Publications is asked to follow this procedure:

1. Write a letter to the publication’s editor, describing the grievance and a suggested action for the editor to take. If the complainant wishes that the letter to the editor not be printed in the publication, such a wish must be explicitly stated in the letter.

2. If the complainant is not satisfied with the editor’s response, he/she may write the adviser of Campus Publications within five academic days of the editor’s response. The adviser will arrange a joint meeting of the involved staff persons and the complainant in order to resolve the situation or, if the complainant wishes, the adviser will meet with the complainant only. The results of such meetings will be documented for the Board of Campus Publications, the complainant and the editors involved.

3. If the complainant is still not satisfied and wishes to take his/her case to the Board of Campus Publications, he/she may do so by writing the chair (or, if one has yet to be elected, the convener) of the Board of Campus Publications within five academic days of the meeting with the adviser. If the complainant wants a response from the committee, that wish must be explicitly stated in the letter.

4. The chair will arrange for the complainant’s grievance to appear on the next agenda of the Board of Campus Publications meeting. The complainant may be present at the meeting (notified by the adviser). The Board will respond to the complainant within five days of this meeting.

In honor of the upcoming First Amendment Week (Sept. 24-28) we hope you’ll take us up on our offer and practice your freedom of speech, just as we practice the freedom of the press.