Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Kristi Brownfield of GA United read a powerful statement in defense of free speech at SIUC at this morning’s open forum with the Board of Trustees. It concludes:

This administration seems more interested in power than people. Any policies that protect the established power of the status quo over the expressive power of a free people are policies that must be overturned. The students here recognize that. It was our voices inside the Student Center, outside of Anthony Hall and the Stone Center, throughout campus, on Facebook, and online — calling for accountability, fairness, and transparency. That is what we want from this university. That is not what we have been getting. We expect better and in the future we hope to work with the administration to ensure we get that better. Together we can heal this damage to create a better SIUC for today and tomorrow.

Read the full statement at GA United’s blog.


Posted today on

The key issues in the strike flow from SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng and SIU President Glen Poshard’s attempts to impose a “corporate education” model on the school. As one student and Navy veteran asked in an open letter, “Is SIUC just after my government benefits after all? Like [the for-profit] University of Phoenix?”

“What is at stake here,” said striking professor Jyostna Kapur, “is the education of working class and middle class students. The administration wants to cheat our students of a good education by trying to make us work for more and more with less and less at a time when working class and middle class students are going into debt for this education.”

Read the full article.

[Edit: Here is the interview referenced below ]

We just received this email:

Moments ago, I just heard Chancellor Rita Cheng on WSIU radio. I have two things I would like to request you post to your blog.

Chancellor Cheng claimed that the only posts that were deleted from the SIU Facebook page were ones containing vulgar language. She then went on to say that at 3am, the one staff member who was monitoring the site had the page locked down, to prevent further inflammitory comments. She did not mention the many comments that were not vulgar, but simply asked the administration to settle, yet were deleted. Even now days later, SIUC is not being honest about what happened. Could you ask your blog readers to call Chancellor Cheng for clarification?

Chancellor Cheng also mentioned that some students have started a petition stating they now prefer their faculty replacement. Could you ask your blog readers to call Chancellor Cheng to make this petition available to the public. How many students have signed it? In the interest of transparency, let us see it.

If you do wish to call the administration:
Chancellor Rita Cheng 618-453-2341
SIUC Board of Trustees 618-536-3357
President Glen Poshard 618-536-3357

The Daily Eastern News at Eastern Illinois University printed an editorial concerning the recent online censorship controversy at SIUC. The editorial validated the frustration students may feel because of the University’s decision to delete comments about a labor dispute between the faculty and the administration.

“We hope that Eastern and other universities have learned a lesson from SIUC’s mistake: don’t deny people the opportunity to vent online.
Eastern’s student body is pretty mild-mannered and most everyone has a favorable opinion of President Perry and the rest of Eastern’s administration, but we believe if they took away our ability to post on Eastern’s Facebook wall, Occupy EIU wouldn’t be the only people marching around campus.”

For the complete editorial:

…results in free speech on campus
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Cory Doctorow mentions the SIUC labor dispute and censorship issues on his blog

Cloud computing and labor disputes: University locks striking profs out of their coursework and email

About Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow, ( ) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and “post-scarcity” economics.

“But one student told the paper it appeared at first that only pro-union posts were being deleted, and some students said they are now wondering about their freedom of speech.”

For more information:

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is facing questions and criticism over its decision on Friday to remove from its Facebook page comments about the strike by faculty members at the institution. The university removed the comments after a number were posted that urged officials to settle the strike or that expressed sympathy with the faculty members.

Read the full article.

Recently, the SIUC apologized for disabling comments on their Facebook page. The university is insisting they disabled comments because contributions were rude and included attacks. They are not acknowledging that the initial censorship was about eliminating opposing views and questions about the strike. In today’s article in the DE, spokesman Rod Sievers says, “To my understanding, we were taking down personal attacks, the over-the-top stuff.” Students who were initially censored are still blocked from participating on the SIUC facebook page. Students across campus have proof in their own screen captures that tell a different story about the facebook censorship. If you have s a story to tell, a screen capture, an opinion or another contribution please do so here:


Administration, public still at impasse over what merits deletion, censorship

While stationed in Los Angeles for an internship, Brandon Allen commented on SIUC’s Facebook page with a question for the university about the labor negotiations.

Ten minutes later, his comment was gone.

Comments from Allen, a junior studying advertising, along with many from alumni, parents and students disappeared from the university’s Facebook page late Wednesday. The deletion of comments followed a posted letter from Chancellor Rita Cheng assuring students that university operations would continue as normal should any of the four unions go on strike.

Allen said his question, which got three "likes" and one comment before it was removed, simply asked, "If the teachers we pay to come to school aren’t in class, why are we paying tuition?"

Allen said he never received a response or explanation and instead was blocked from commenting on the page again.

"The bigger issue is that it was not handled professionally. There’s a certain element of professionalism expected with administrators," he said. "It’s interesting to me that we can have people trying to lead us but they don’t want to let us know what is happening with our education."

Allen said he is upset because students’ questions and opinions were shrugged off by the administration.

"My biggest frustration is the fact that we weren’t allowed to ask questions," he said.

Read more: