A5: Description of the Boards and Standing
b. Campus Life Board
3. Student Communications Media Committee
- To study and consider all matters concerning the student communications
media, including any matters referred to it by the Campus Life Board,
and to make policy recommendations about these issues to the Campus
Life Board. The term “student communications media” refers
to recognized student media organizations funded by Student Congress
(see ii) and news media courses that disseminate to external audiences.
- To recommend to the Student Congress Appropriations Committee the
distribution of monies allocated for use by recognized student media
organizations, including The Anchor, Milestone, Opus, Inklings, and
- To appoint the editors or managers of all recognized student media
organizations, including The Anchor, Milestone, Opus, Inklings, and
WTHS, acting upon recommendations from the executive members of the
retiring staffs and upon letters of application from the candidates.
The appointments of the other editorial and major staff positions in
these organizations are normally made by the editor/manager, with approval
by the Committee; when necessary, these appointments may be made by
- To terminate, for just cause, and in consultation with the faculty
advisor, the appointment of an editor, manager, or staff member of
one of the student media organizations, and to appoint a successor.
- To refer controversial incidents involving student communications
media to the Media Review Board for discussion and possible action.
Membership will include four students (preferably with a background in
communication issues, and including the Comptroller of Student Congress)
appointed annually by Student Congress; three faculty members (liaison
from Campus Life Board plus two other faculty members (preferably with
a background in communication issues) appointed for staggered two-year
terms; two administrative staff members (one from public relations staff,
one from student development staff). The Committee Chair will be a faculty
member and will chair the Sounding Board and Media Review Board. Efforts
should be made to reflect the diversity of the campus community
when making appointments to this committee.
- In appointing the media personnel (function ii), the Committee has
generally followed these procedures. The media are encouraged
to prepare, through in-service training in a variety of staff responsibilities,
candidates for the top positions who have ability and experience. Positions
are advertised, however, and applications are accepted from any student. The
Committee interviews all applicants, not only to aid in selection but
also to establish a dialogue with the new leaders concerning objectives
and policies for their respective organizations. It has been the practice
to invite the editors and general manager of student media organizations
to sit on the committee, with voice (including the right to make motions)
but not vote, and make regular reports at committee meetings.
- The Student Communications Student Media Committee (SCMC) and its
subsidiary boards should, in all its procedures, recognize that the
processes and objectives of artistic expression, editorial content
and news differ. As a result, these organizations have different
responsibilities to their audiences and the Hope College community.
While most student media organizations serve a strictly news function,
the functions of a few organizations are more artistic in nature. Because
student media messages are published or broadcast and disseminated
to the public, it is important that they be sensitive to the Student
Media Guidelines. However, due to the very nature of artistic expression,
these organizations should be given broader boundaries than news-oriented
organizations. Attention to the nature of the work in question must
be considered when providing feedback.
The Sounding Board will serve an advisory function for student media
organizations to discuss the publication or broadcast of sensitive issues
prior to message dissemination. The Sounding Board's function is
to protect the freedom of speech and press for student media organizations
and to promote the responsible use of these freedoms. The Sounding Board
will alert student media organizations to potential social and legal
implications. The Sounding Board process will be initiated upon
request from the media staff or the faculty advisor to the Chair of the
Membership will be drawn from the SCMC and will include two students,
two faculty members (including the Chair of the Committee), and one administrative
- Normally the full Sounding Board will discuss the issues and provide
guidance; in cases involving short-notice deadlines, the Chair of the
Committee may respond individually or after consultation with other
Sounding Board members.
- Regarding issues of potential liability, the Committee will contact
the Provost’s Office to request consultation with the College’s
- The Sounding Board will assess the meaning of the message in its
particular context and the justifiable purpose for publishing or broadcasting
the sensitive material.
- The Sounding Board will convene a round-table discussion of
interested parties to explore the potential implications of the message. The
Sounding Board will offer advice to the student media organization.
- The Committee Chair will vote in the event of a tie.
Media Review Board
The Media Review Board will be responsible for reviewing any controversial
incidents involving student communications media. This Board will be convened
when a request is made to the Chair of the Committee.
Membership will be drawn from the Student Communications Media Committee
and will include two students, two faculty members (including the Chair
of the Committee), and one administrative staff member.
Any group or individual may initiate the review process by sending a
letter to the Chair of the Committee within three weeks of publication
or broadcast. The letter should explain the media incident and
why it may have violated the Student Media Guidelines. The Committee
Chair will convene a meeting of the Media Review Board and all concerned
parties within ten class days.
- The Media Review Board will first meet as a Board to review the incident
and the complaint in light of the Student Media Guidelines.
- All concerned parties will be invited to join in a discussion of
- After the discussion, all non-Board members will be excused, and
the Board will vote on whether the incident violated the Guidelines.
- If the Board determines that the Guidelines were followed and that
no further action is needed, the Board Chair will inform the parties
of the decision in writing within 48 hours. If the Board
determines that the Guidelines were violated, the Board will decide
what action should be taken to address the situation, and the Chair
will inform the parties of the decision in writing within 48 hours.
The Chair may discuss the situation with others affected by the incident
or the decision.
- Any decision by the Media Review Board may be appealed by any
involved party to the Campus Life Board within seven days. The
Chair of the Campus Life Board will determine the members of the Appeal
Committee and the procedures for this process.
- The Chair of the SCMC will vote in the event of a tie.