Dear Oregon Daily Emerald Editorial Staff,
The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) Executive supports the demands of your strike and hopes for a quick resolution of the issue. Editorial independence of our campus publications is paramount to the free flow of ideas at the University of Oregon. The editorial sovereignty of the Oregon Daily Emerald affords all students at the University of Oregon the opportunity to read objective, student-run content on a daily basis. We know the decision to strike was a difficult one, but we respect your principled stand.
Student control of the Oregon Daily Emerald is extremely important to maintaining a strong student voice on campus and should not be compromised for bureaucratic expediency. A paid publisher should be an equal partner with the editor in chief to maintain sound working relationships with the board, the newsroom and the student body. Providing the publisher with supervisory control over the editor in chief and editorial staff takes a key element away from the term “student-run.”
Additionally, the publisher position should not be allowed to serve on the faculty of any school at the university, as that would create an clear conflict of interest with the student-run nature of the publication.
The Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors should pay a service to the editorial staff, the university and the student body by conducting a comprehensive nationwide search to fill the publisher position with the best possible candidate. A thorough hiring process can do nothing but enhance the development of the campus community by ensuring that the eventual publisher is the most qualified to guarantee the Oregon Daily Emerald’s continued success and fiscal solvency.
The University of Oregon campus is renowned as an open marketplace of ideas. The Oregon Daily Emerald has been a vessel for those ideas for generations and should continue to be a voice for students in the campus community. Any infringement of this kind on the editorial independence of the newspaper poses a threat to the educational and cultural development of the student body. We know that Oregon Daily Emerald General Manager Michelle Ross and the Board of Directors are acting in a manner consistent with their view of how a student newspaper should operate; we simply disagree.
The ASUO Executive would like to reiterate its support for the editorial independence of the Oregon Daily Emerald and the principled and difficult stand being taken by its editorial staff. This issue is of great importance to the campus community and the ASUO hopes for a timely resolution of the situation through acceptance of your demands by the Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors. We will consider all further actions on the part of both parties when reviewing the ASUO’s $153,700 contract with the Oregon Daily Emerald for the 2009-10 school year to ensure the editorial sovereignty of the student editorial staff.
The ASUO Executive