A note from the editor

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After two weeks of discussions regarding art censorship, freedom ofspeech and freedom of expression on campus, I have begun to wonder why we care so much. Is it to honor our Bill of Rights and the vague wording within? Is it to maintain our country’s illusion of freedom? Where do we draw the line?

I mean, in the incident that happened on campus, I can definately see both sides of it. When the windows of a student art exhibit are blocked by paper, with no explanation of why, it definitely raised questions and incited anger among the art community.

Knowing that the admissions office blocked the windows because there would be younger viewers on campus, and after seeing the racy nature of the exhibit, its side is understandable, too.
Ethically, it is difficult for me to argue with either side.

I agree with the art community in that every artist has a right to express himself in whatever form he deems adequate, but does not the community also have a right then to choose to view or not view that artwork?

I think that what the admissions office was attempting to do was find a golden mean. They didn’t intend for the doors to be locked that day, and therefore what they did would have had the same effect on the community as if the doors were made of wood and not glass. People still should have had access and the ability to choose to go in to view the art, or remain in the outer lobby.
Had the doors been unlocked, maybe there wouldn’t have been as big an issue, but I really can’t speculate.

This entire thing just seems to have been blown way out of proportion, and I’m not really sure what it solved other than the fact that the admissions office says it will no longer interfere with art galleries displayed on campus.

I think this whole thing can be taken as a learning opportunity for all of us, and in fact in my ethics class, it has been.

We discussed at length how to handle the incident journalistically, and in the end it was determined that the Basement Medicine staff would give both sides the opportunity to voice their opinions in a public forum in the way that newspapers initially intended.

So, in this issue you will find an op-ed piece regarding the nature of censorship written by Professor of Fine Arts Ken Leslie, as well as a news article written by myself, relaying a public apology from Associate Dean of Admissions Penny Howrigan who wanted the campus to know that censorship was not the intent of her staff. They exercised their right to free speech, and it is your job to decide whether to read it or not, just as you made the decision to read this editorial.

-Kayla Friedrich, Editor-in-Chief

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