Freedom of the Press

Carrie is producing a video about what conversation topics are trending among students on campus for her student government. One of the biggest development projects in the last year has been the addition of a large new statue, placed in the middle of campus, and sponsored by a wealthy alumnus. Students regularly make fun of the statue, which is a bit of an eyesore, and make jokes about the university sucking up to spoiled, wealthy alumni. It is a popular topic of conversation, and should be included in any discussion of trending topics.

Carrie knows the university administration wouldn’t be happy to see the conversation reflected in any kind of video media, especially by student government, a body that represents the university as a whole. Any negativity could impact donor happiness, how much they give, and in turn, the resources available to the student body. Carrie also feels strongly that in order to be relevant and reflective of the student body, her constituency, its important to be open and genuine about the topics of student conversation, including the statue jokes.

What should Carrie do? Have you ever felt a similar tension? How do you negotiate a balance between representing the student body and representing the university?

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