I was planning to write an easy editorial about the stories we have this issue, many of which I am very excited about.That changed when, a day before we went to press, the FSW Compass adviser, Professor Ron Feemster, was terminated by FSW. He will leave the college when his contract runs out on June 30.
Read our story, “Compass adviser out, paper’s future unclear,” on page three about his termination. The college is not obligated to give a reason for his termination and did not explain it.
Currently, no plan has been made public for appointing a new adviser, hiring a new journalism professor, or continuing to fund the student newspaper.
It’s difficult to report on yourself. There’s an inherent conflict of interest. It is even harder when the people who make decisions for the student journalism program apparently fail to see the importance of student journalism.
Three of our reporters attempted to speak with Deborah Teed, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. I waited 45 minutes outside of her office and managed to slip inside moments after her meeting ended and seconds before she left for the day.
Our short interview resulted in no comment in our story. It also revealed the college needs to think about where student journalism goes from here. It became clear FSW parted ways with our adviser without a plan to ensure the future of the Compass. Teed could have easily assured us about our future, but instead we were met with her stonewalling and glares.
We may not know what will happen to our paper, but we will continue to advocate for the voice of students on campus.
There are students on our staff who prefer to spend their weekends chasing down Compass stories from Captiva to Hendry Glades, or editing in the newsroom.
I know I wouldn’t be half as good a person if I hadn’t joined the Compass. I’m fearful other students like me won’t have the same chance after Feemster leaves.
Through this fear, I want our readers to know the Compass is still here. We are not a group easily silenced.
Look for our continued coverage of the Compass’s future in our upcoming issues.
Now, for the news.
The Compass is introducing an events section, “Cardinal Directions.” This back-page addition is our new section for upcoming student activities. “Cardinal Directions” is Lee-centric now, but we hope to expand to activities students on other campuses can enjoy.
Public Safety, has changed its name to Campus Police Department. The Compass will leave reminders of the name change in stories mentioning the department, but will hereafter refer to the department as Campus Police Department or FSWPD.
Finally, I’d like to give our readers a reminder that the opinions expressed in our opinion pieces do not have to be shared by the Compass. If you have an opinion and want to write about it, come to us with your ideas!
A quick warning: we are planning on releasing a second issue this month. The new issue will feature some serious stories we’ve taken a little longer to report. Keep an eye out after spring break!
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns for the FSW Compass, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by I-117 on Lee campus.
Shaken and sure,
FSW Compass Editor-In-Chief