BROADSIDE EDITORS FIRED: VANDENGERG GONE FOR GOOD
Some weeks ago the Student Council, having finally decided to pay for the October issue of BROADSIDE, promptly fired the Editor. The next thing BROADSIDE staff learned was that Mr. Vandenberg, a teacher, had been hired as the new Editor of our student newspaper, and that he would be paid, by the Council, $100 per year. $100 of our money. (Approximately $25 of the $40 we all pay at the start of the year goes to the Council). Further more, of all the tasks normally performed by the Editor (and previously without any payment whatsoever), Mr. Vandenberg would have a considerable reduction in work load. The new By-Laws state that the Editor, who must be chosen from outside the student body, must ensure that BROADSIDE informs and entertains without "damaging, or offending individuals, clubs or organisations."
Mr. Vandenberg then, in accepting the position, agreed to enforce this new and restrictive Editorial Policy, written by members of the Student Council, which would, in effect, prevent the inclusion of any articles showing that Student Council in anything but a favourable light. Anything the Council might construe as being "offensive" (such as the truth) would be censored. Mr Vandenberg's metaphorical scissors would certainly need to be sharpened.
We were left wondering two things: Why is the council afraid of students sharing their views, through BROADSIDE, with the rest of the school; and why does Mr Vandenberg feel he should be meddling in Student affairs?
Next stage in this farce was the quite simple and slightly underhanded on our part. We agreed to go along with all this hogwash in order to keep the BROADSIDE office until the writing had been completed. Dany Pearson had already threatened that if we went underground we would be thrown out of the office and not have access to the computer and hard disc. Mr. Stewart too had suggested that this was a possible future scenario. And so a selection of the stories was given to Mr. Vandenberg for him to read and censor, according to the new Editorial Policy.
After one week they were returned to us and we were surprised to find that he had rejected nothing, despite the fact that almost all the stories I wrote are intended to be "offensive" to the Student Council. Obviously he chickened out when the climate became too hot for his liking. The only other possibility is that he finally saw sense, but we must discount this option, for if he had been truly enlightened he would also have quit the job. As it is, he simply did not do what he was hired to do. I repeat, almost all my articles are intended to be "offensive" to our wonderful Council, yet Mr. Vandenberg rejected nothing. One can imagine our dear President's face when he discovers that he is paying $100 for someone to correct punctuation and dot the I's. When the new Editorial policy was written this surely was not the intention.
To conclude then, since the Council's Editorial Policy still stands, the potential to enforce it in the future remains. Also we can never agree to the Editor being a teacher. For these reasons we decided to print the newspaper ourselves, accepting no money from the Council whatsoever. Accordingly, I will leave it to the collective imagination of the Council to figure out what they can do with the rules and their Editorial Policy.