A committee was formed to improve campus safety, public safety, but on Tuesday The Lantern was informed that the public would have a part in the process.
As editors of The Lantern, we strive to inform students, staff, alumni and affiliates of the most up-to-date information as it pertains to campus. On Tuesday night, we attempted to do everything in our power to make that happen.
This meeting was the result of a mandate from President E. Gordon Gee to improve student safety after recent armed robberies in the area.
While the university had precedent to hold a closed-door meeting based on a gray-area regarding the Freedom of Information Act and Ohio Sunshine Laws, we believe the university had an obligation to the public to inform.
The story that was intended to be on the front page of Wednesday’s paper was to feature the initiatives the university is working toward. It should have been praising the university for taking action and making something happen.
Instead, through unwillingness to be transparent and honest to the public the story turned into a completely different matter. This is a matter of student safety. This is a matter of great interest to all aspects of the university.
At The Lantern, we were looking forward to reporting good news about the initiatives the university is working toward. Our goal was to report about the progress of the Undergraduate Student Government’s progress with its petition to improve student safety.
Factors out of our control made us unable to report what went on in that meeting.
We have a pledge to our readers to seek the truth and be the informant of the public, and we will continue to exhaust every resource to inform the public about matters of public interest.
In what was even more surprising than the meeting itself was the reaction from committee members after. Every member we spoke to deferred comment to a university spokeswoman. Even with simple questions regarding the goals of the committee, things that could have been answered without divulging sensitive information, went unanswered.
We have a pledge to public knowledge and please take this as a promise that we constantly do everything in our power to ensure the public is aware of information they deserve to know.