President John Lahey’s comments in last week’s issue of “The Chronicle” regarding campus media have led to a reaction throughout campus.
During a student government meeting on Oct. 17, Lahey expressed displeasure with the media outlets on campus. Among his chief issues were outside media quoting him through The Chronicle and the online newspaper posting articles before they appear in print. His comments left a bitter taste in the mouths of Quinnipiac students.
“His comments definitely make me question his ability to fulfill his position as president,” said sophomore physical therapy major Lauren Burrous.
Some feel that his comments will cause students to not only speak out, but also come to the defense of the campus media.
“The thing about the Lahey article is that it inspires people to rant and to passionately defend QU’s media, which is run by students but is like any other professional media.” said Bridgette Glessner, a junior media studies major.
However, Glessner tried to make sense of the President’s views.
“To a certain extent I do understand a possible reason, a very optimistic reason, why Lahey would want to have private meetings with the university’s boards and student organizations,” Glessner said. “Perhaps he wants to hammer out the issues being discussed and then, once they have arrived at their solution, inform QU’s media. He doesn’t want QU’s media tangling up the process of progress by involving outsiders or QU’s population.”
Black Student Union President Anastacia Tucker for one, believes Lahey should not shy away from the student media.
“When there is a controversial issue, such as the racial incidents, what better person to hear from than the president of the university?” Tucker said.
“As a student of color on this campus, it is important to me as well as other students to hear his views and thoughts about such occurrences. By him not saying anything or expressing his concern because it’s a “sensitive” issue, sends a message of lack of concern for students of color and this community, which should be his No. 1 concern and priority.”
In his speech to the SGA, Lahey cited the interference of outside media for not discussing controversial topics with student media. He feels that this outside interference prevents students from getting the information they truly need.
Tucker added that the responsibility of a university president goes beyond the office.
“When you take on a position of authority, there are certain responsibilities that come with that job, including addressing issues you may not want to or feel comfortable talking about,” Tucker said.
Some students feel that bringing media attention to controversial events such as the recent racial slur incident will help more in the long run. “You have to bring attention (from the media) if you want something solved,” said sophomore interactive digital design major Aime Colosa.
Glessner agreed. “If you blind people or silence them, you are free to go around looking and behaving any way you wish,” she said.
“As for outside media, I think it is wonderful that they have an interest in QU, and that they absolutely should have access to information, even if that information is unfavorable,” said Glessner.
The president is not drawing all bad reviews.
“He’s not a bad president,” sophomore marketing major Ben Siegel said. “He just shouldn’t have made those comments.”
Tucker, a journalism major, took Lahey’s comments personally.
“He said that the campus media misinterprets things and doesn’t get the facts right,” Tucker said.
“If this is true why doesn’t he simply tell them that they got it wrong, so that it can be corrected, that’s the way journalism works. Furthermore, what he is saying about the campus media makes no sense…he is criticizing this univesity’s journalism program as I see it. The advisor of The Chronicle is a highly acclaimed journalism professor and I’m sure the writers report and write their stories accurately as they have been taught.”