The First Amendment protects our voice

For the past several years, The Voice has experienced multiple instances of censorship. 

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects not only freedom of speech, but freedom of the press. This means that censorship of newspapers is illegal.

College newspapers are also protected by the First Amendment and are not exempt from the protective powers of the US Constitution, aside from in specific situations. states, “The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.” 

Not only does the First Amendment protect freedom of the press, but Oregon law provides an additional layer of protection for student newspapers and journalists. 

As of 2007, an Oregon law protects student journalists and publications from retaliation by university officials.

In 2012, a printed publication of The Voice was collected from the metal stands around campus where print publications once sat. The paper contained an article that the university did not find agreeable, and shortly after that, The Voice experienced funds cuts, censorship, and finally, a complete cut of funding by the university where The Voice has been published for over eight decades. 

As student journalists, we have felt an obligation to our peers to bring to light all topics, not just ones the university agrees with. 

Law protects student publications from negative reactions and consequences from college administrators unless a story interrupts the daily operations of campus activities, endangers someone, or is slanderous. 

Given all this, The Voice should not be stopped from publishing stories that inform students of campus happenings if the stories are free from slander, does not put someone in danger, and does not interrupt campus operations. 

Why, then, has The Voice been slowly silenced over the last few years? Silencing student-run newspapers is becoming common practice at colleges across the United States. 

When colleges impede on or stop the publication of truthful, unbiased, harmless information on a college campus, they are then violating the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and silencing their students. 

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