Christian university president defends student newspaper's right to publish Obama endorsement



We write a lot about principals and college administrators who don't seem to appreciate the value of a free and vigorous student press, so it's nice to write about one who does — Abilene Christian University President Phil Schubert.

Last week, the editorial board of the school's student newspaper, The Optimist, endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term. The endorsement sparked debate on the newspaper's website, where some wondered whether the endorsement was at odds with the school's Christian mission.

Sunday in the Abilene Reporter-News, Schubert publicly defended the paper's right to publish its endorsement:

Abilene Christian University does not endorse political candidates or parties, so some people reacted with surprise when our student newspaper, the Optimist, recently endorsed a presidential candidate.

That provides a great opportunity for me to explain what ACU does endorse: making sure our students receive an education that prepares them to make real choices and engage in independent thought about important issues.

... It would be easy to shy away from diverse opinions about difficult subjects, but in so doing, we would remove from our students the opportunity to practice — in a safe environment — for the challenges and experiences that will shape them into these kind of people.

Well said. For more wise words, read Schubert's entire column.

 

Tagged: College Student Media/Journalism