Attached below is the open letter calling for the UCSD student government to reverse its decision to defund student-run on-campus media organizations as sent to the UCSD Chancellor and the UCSD Associated Students President on Dec. 3, 2015 (followed by the text as formatted on WordPress).
If you would also like to add your name to this letter, please feel free to sign and include your UCSD affiliation as a comment at:
Dear Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and AS President Dominick Suvonnasupa,
As UCSD alumni and former campus leaders, we have an obligation to speak out and defend the vital role that media organizations have historically played on UCSD’s campus. We are deeply concerned by the Associated Students at UCSD’s recent decision to vote to defund registered media organizations on campus. 1
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are critical to maintaining an open, healthy, and free society. At UCSD in particular, on-campus media organizations have a long and rich history of holding those in positions of power accountable, including the administration and the student government. Pledging to fund academic publications—as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Gary Ratcliff has done—is insufficient and fails to maintain funding for creative and news media organizations on campus, many of which have existed for decades.
We remember when ASUCSD voted in 2010 to stop funding all on-campus registered media organizations in a well-intentioned—but misguided—attempt to prevent the publication of offensive content and silence dissenting voices. 2 After months of sustained pressure from passionate UCSD students and San Diego residents, the student government restored funding, realizing that the effects of trying to censor speech were ultimately more detrimental than the speech itself. 3