Members of the executive board of the Kansas City Press Club on Thursday issued the following statement to President Carter File of Hutchinson Community College:
An independent press is the bedrock of a thriving, free society. That is why the members of the executive board of the Kansas City Press Club support the student employees of The Collegian at Hutchinson Community College, as well as students in the college’s journalism department.
Though we are heartened to hear that the final issue of the semester will now be published, we were disturbed by the initial reports that administrators worked so swiftly to suppress the First Amendment rights of the student employees who work so hard to cover their campus each and every day.
We do remain dismayed that administration has deprived journalism students of a full semester of the department’s courses. We are even more concerned that administration has offered no reason for this cancellation.
We will withhold comment on adviser Alan Montgomery’s suspension, as we do not yet have all of the facts regarding his involvement with the Collegian and its coverage.
Our support of the First Amendment and of due process, however, is absolute. We urge Hutchinson Community College administrators to continue to allow students and student journalists unfettered access to the tools and resources they need in their academic journey.
Mark Reddig, president
Corbin Crable, vice president
Mary Rupert, secretary
Dick Nelson, treasurer
Linda Friedel, immediate past president
Debra DeCoster, at-large member
Susan Dawson O-Brien, at-large member
Patti Klinge, at-large member