TROY, NEW YORK — In the past, RPI TV has covered controversial situations like present times. We have been allowed unprecedented access to campus events, and we use this access to keep students informed.
In the last week, however, RPI TV has been refused recording on two occasions. Both instances were refusals from Dr. Frank E. Ross III, the Vice President of the Division of Student Life. Ross refused TV’s presence at an emergency Student Government meeting last week, and he denied recording of the forum dealing with the current issues earlier today.
RPI TV has always remained a neutral party; our productions—being video and not print—are nearly impossible to editorialize, and it would go against our code of ethics to even attempt it.
Dr. Ross is censoring the campus media, which is independent and protected under the Media Statement. This statement is a policy of the Union and derives its authority from the Union Constitution and protects The Polytechnic, WRPI, and RPI TV, among others. His forum, scheduled from 1:30–3 pm on a Tuesday, one of the busiest class days for students at RPI, was at an impossible time for many students, who requested media coverage of the event. Students wanted not only a record of what was said, but something to watch because they could not make it.
RPI TV agrees that it is unfair and contrary to university policy and common sense to deny students this right. There is little to be done with today’s event having concluded, but in the future, Institute administrators with the courage of their convictions should not fear to speak to their own student media and have their straightforward views on policy known. That is the only way that RPI TV believes an academically honest university involved in the free exchange of ideas can continue to exist.