Civil Liberties / Primary Document 4 /

Primary Document Four

Vanguard Censored

The Young Progressive

At the last meeting of the Faculty-“Student” Committee on Publications, the faculty majority jammed through two Vanguard regulations that amount to a serious threat to freedom of the press at Brooklyn College.

(1) The faculty advisor of Vanguard is empowered to suspend members from the staff for what he deems to be “action detrimental to journalistic practice.” Of course, the suspended staff members may appeal—to the Faculty-“Student” Committee on Publications. It’s composition: 5 faculty votes, 2 student votes.
(2) The policy of Vanguard is defined to publish only “on-campus” news, and the faculty advisor must be consulted before anything “off-campus” is published. The idea is that the faculty advisor can “disadvise” the publication of articles on the Knickerboker-Davis strike at CCNY, or the witch hunt investigations at the University of Chicago, and lurking behind this “impartial” advice is the faculty advisor’s power to suspend for “action detrimental to journalistic practice.”

This is only the latest attempt to impose a virtual censorship on Vanguard. Take a look at the record:

Supsenion of Vangaurd editor last term because of an editorial that displeased the administration.

Consistent red-baiting attacks against Vanguard by President Gideonse. The most shameful is his attempt to drag in the red herring when he was embarrassed by Vanguard’s accurate reporting of his talk before the Student Christian Association (in which he repeated that slander about the Jewish people)

Deliberate encouragement by the administrations and the Faculty-“Student” Committee on Student Activities—the same outfit that suspended the Karl Marx Society—of the “Common Cause” group of miniature reactionaries, tinhorns and crackpots in their filthy drive to destroy Vanguard through the “tremendous lie” technique and their so called drive to secure a new newspaper. This group received a most friendly and encouraging letter from President Gideonse, although it is not a recognized organization.

The attacks on Vanguard inspired by an administration that believes that academic freedom does not apply to students, are an important part of the current pattern of student repression. When the Vanguard of two years ago sold out the student body played footsie with the administration, then there was no administration attempts against Vanguard. But as long as Vanguard remains a crusading, fighting newspaper, the administration cannot have a free rein in its campaign against the students. Therefore the current repression and censorship of Vanguard.

We in YPA feel that the student body of Brooklyn College will crush the anti-Vanguard campaign of President Gideonse, the Faculty-“Student” Committee on Publications, and the small group of boot licking students who are traitors to the liberal tradition of Brooklyn College. A united student body will insure a free student press.