These have been interesting times here at the Collegian. Our story about Trey Barnett’s suspension rocked the boat a little more than we were used to, but with a couple of weeks between us and that story, we decided that it’s time to thank those organizations that picked up the story or supported us in other ways.
First, we’d like to thank the Student Press Law Center and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The SPLC went to bat for us with TU’s lawyer and helped us gather as much information as possible about the administration’s beliefs and intentions.
FIRE was in the thick of things before we even got involved. We’d like to thank the people at FIRE who did what they could to defend Barnett from an unfair suspension.
FIRE and the SPLC publicized both the unfair treatment of Barnett at the hands of TU administrators and attempts by TU to intimidate the Collegian.
Several national news organizations picked up the story as well. Stories ran on Huffington Post, Inside Higher Ed and Bloomberg Businessweek, which gets the award for best headline: “University of Tulsa Creates ‘Atmosphere of Fear’ to Silence Criticism, Students Say.”
We’d like specifically to thank Dan Reimold, of College Media Matters, for writing the Huffington Post piece and Natalie Kitroeff for the Bloomberg piece.
So far, we remain puzzled by the lack of local media involvement. The University of Tulsa is a major stakeholder in the Tulsa community. Perhaps more importantly: it makes no small difference to prospective students how TU treats those who are already here.
But we’re encouraged by the response of student journalists across the country. Editorials and opinion pieces were published in the OU Daily (University of Oklahoma), the Daily Toreador (Texas Tech) and Chips (Luther College). Thanks for the show of solidarity.
Here in Tulsa, the most helpful members of our support network were Dan Bewley, the Collegian’s advisor, and Mark Brewin, Chair of Communication. Thanks to you guys.
Finally, many thanks to everyone who read the Collegian that week. All Best,