Student media groups (publications, radio and newspaper) are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and of intellectual exploration on campus. They are a means of formulating student opinion on various issues on campus and in the world at large. The editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails the responsibility to abide by the pillars of responsible journalism, including the avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the use of harassment as defined by Hamilton’s Harassment/Discrimination Policy.

The Hamilton College Student Media Board has been established to publish undergraduate publications and produce undergraduate radio programming that represent the student body as a whole and not any particular group of students. Because these media are entirely edited and financed by the Student Activities Fee, the majority of the voices on the Board are those of undergraduates. The publications and radio station, however, not only depend in part on the College for financial aid and other support, but also have responsibilities to all members of the faculty and administration.

Although the Board elects editors, it does not determine what may or may not be printed or broadcasted. Rather, the Board relies on suggestions and discussion to achieve its ends: to see that these media exercise the right of free expression; that they maintain high standards of form, tastes, and content; that they give adequate space or time to views divergent from their own; and that they adhere to accepted community standards of decency, and consider the impact of their contents on all of the audience they reach. 

The Student Media Board seeks to ensure that student media maintain the freedom to experiment, question, and judge, which is the very basis of the liberal arts experience, and to promote a sense of responsibility that must accompany that freedom.

To protect the editorial freedom of student publications the following provisions are set forth:

  1. The student press will be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, but its editors and managers will adhere to accepted community standards of decency set forth by the Student Media Board
  2. All student media groups are  financed and published through the Student Activities Fee and must include a clear statement on the editorial page that the opinions expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the College or the student body.
  3. Advertisements in publications may not include references to alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia, directly or indirectly.

*Portions of this policy were adapted from Middlebury College

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