Letter From Meghan Pergrem

Letter to the Editors Addressing New Editorial Policy

Dear Foster and Luke,

I am writing this letter to express my concern with the new declassified policy. I understand that the Record and its editors are under a great deal of pressure from the community, and the administration in particular. I appreciate the importance of the Record as a mouthpiece for all community members and in no way want my criticisms to be taken as a lack of support for the Record or its staff.

I disagree with the sentiments expressed in your letters to the community in last week’s issue of the Record. Foster, in your letter you state, “Declassifi eds are not intended as a medium to stab at people behind anonymity. They are there for cute notes, crushes, thank yous and light hearted humor.? We believe that these are not the only purposes of Declassifi eds. They have also been used as a forum to make public political statements. You object to the anonymous nature of most Declassifi eds, while not taking into account the necessity of anonymity that is a product of what was intelligently referred to by Daniel E. Solis as “the Culture of Fear.? Not all of us feel safe attaching our names and/or faces to our politicized opinions. At this point in time, the Antioch campus is not a space in which people can freely speak their minds without fear of being expelled, banned, or persecuted in some other fashion by the administration. Does this mean that our opinions should go unheard or that they are any less refl ective of the community? If this is a question of whether or not the Record Staff should be held accountable for the content of the Declassifi eds, then my answer is no. The Record is not an individual that should be held accountable for the opinions of community members. The question then becomes, what is happening in our community that is causing individuals to write Declassifi eds that are “not so nice?? Perhaps this question, or rather the answers to this question, could spark some inspiration for stories covered by the Record in the future.

In my opinion, censorship of the Declassifi eds is part of a greater issue concerning the administration’s agenda to control and censor the opinions of community members expressed in the Record. When I read your letters to the community, I was shocked to see our editors supporting this agenda through their editorial decisions. This is the fi rst time in my Antioch career that I have seen the Record editors publicly submit to censorship in the interest of pleasing a disapproving administration.

I want to thank you for your dedication to the Record and respectfully request that you consider alternative approaches to the editorial process that do not include enforcing censorship of opinions, even if you cannot see the value in giving voice to anonymous Declassifi eds.

Sincerely,

Meghan Pergrem