We wrote yesterday about a SUNY Oswego student who was threatened with expulsion for an email interview he attempted for a journalism class assignment. Alex Myers is a foreign exchange student from Australia spending his semester at the New York school.

He was writing a profile on SUNY Oswego men’s hockey coach Ed Gosek for class and contacted three other coaches for input. Shortly after, Myers learned he was on an interim suspension and banned from campus. The school said his email interview — in which he identified himself as an intern in the school’s Office of Public Affairs and told the coaches their opinions didn’t have to be positive — violated the school’s codes of conduct on dishonesty and disruptive behavior.

With the help of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Myers fought the expulsion and was ultimately issued a warning and required to apologize to Gosek, the coaches he emailed and the Office of Public Affairs. His internship with the public affairs office was revoked, and he must take part in a discussion in his journalism class about the experience.

Today, The Oswegonian has a great story looking at how Myers’ story has played out on campus and the unfortunate impact it’s had on him. If you’re ever wondered about the impact censorship can have on students, make sure to read The Oswegonian‘s interview with Myers.

The paper talked with him about the impact of having the “biggest error over my university career to be broadcasted nationally.” Myers said he probably won’t graduate this semester as planned because of losing his internship, and now is questioning whether to go into journalism at all.

“It’s definitely tarnished journalism for me,” Myers told The Oswegonian. “I was unsure about whether I was suitable for journalism prior to all this. This hasn’t really helped my view on the field, so I’m not 100 percent sure if I’ll continue that career path or if I’ll go into something else.”

  1. Rob Moore says:

    According to a friend of 40 years who has been a reporter since we graduated from university, one certainly does not go into journalism to make tonnes of money. She stays with it strictly out of love for the art of learning the facts and writing about them. She is the most cheerful cynic I’ve ever known. She says people in the public eye typically love the publicity when it is flattering, but if it is not praising them as able to walk on water, many of them are just offended and if the figure’s ox gets a little gored, they are irate that they are not treated with more deference.