The April 2nd meeting of the SGA signaled the opening of a new dialogue between its members and the staff of the Knight Rider. Historically tensions have always existed between institutions of government and those of the press. However when allowed to escalate beyond reason, lines of communication are cut off and proper and thorough reporting becomes impossible. Luckily this is not the case here at NRCC. In recent weeks controversies have stemmed from the actions of both organizations. In February and March we witnessed a monumental amount of involvement from the student body here. We saw hastily written articles, cartoons improperly pulled, whispered intimidations, Sean McGrady’s zealous reporting, the involvement of the NRCC administration, and a blazing flurry of discussion and commenting on the Knight Rider website.
The result of all this however is favorable in a way no one could have predicted. The SGA has gained a new understanding of their roles on campus and their interactions with the media. The student newspaper has learned new ways of providing coverage and has taken on a better idea of ethical standards. And so from the frenzy of this conflict new ideas and processes have risen. Keep in mind that both organizations are new and in making certain mistakes have learned to never make them again. We are now looking forward to a better relationship between both groups, with open communication and information sharing. One of the arguments going back and forth in our forums has been asking whether the SGA is a REAL government and is the Knight Rider a REAL newspaper. Well the answer is yes to both. Absolutely. And both institutions have pledged to do their best to act in a manner fully consistent with what is required to meet the standards that all such groups should aspire to. Let’s look to the future.
Things got underway with a few words from a guest speaker, Knight Rider advisor Janet Hanks. She spoke in length about the happenings of the last few weeks and expressed optimism concerning future relations. The gist of what was said can be found in her article “New River Community College: A Place For A Free Press,” printed in this newspaper.
The officers went on to discuss business, setting a date for an SGA workshop on parliamentary procedure, to be attended by all members. Also, a tentative date for a Karaoke event is set for April 17th at noon, any changes to the date and its location will be posted.
Perhaps the most intriguing business of the day involved an open senate seat. At the SGA’s last meeting former Senator Sarah Polan resigned her position. Recently it was discovered that members of the SGA cannot serve as officers of other clubs or organizations, and she is the editor of our paper. Coming in the wake of the cartoon debacle the timing of this issue being raised is somewhat questionable; especially considering the newspaper was initially a project of the SGA! Essentially Sarah was forced to choose between the SGA and the Knight Rider. Luckily for us she chose the paper, but unfortunately it was at the cost of any financial aid she was to receive, despite of the work she has already done for the student government. Rightness or wrongness of this I will leave to the opinion pages and to the exceptional and intelligent commenters we have here. On the bright side, Sarah is ecstatic to be able to devote more of her considerable energies to the paper and to her many other pursuits. Another bit of good to come out of this is the appointment of Callie Abdelwahed to become our newest senator. She is a devoted worker from what I hear, and an extremely nice and open person from what I’ve seen. One of her duties will be to act as a liaison between the government and the newspaper, helping to arrange interviews and provide information. I look forward to working with her.
In the coming months I will continue to attend meetings and to bring back a balanced report. Look for one on one interviews with SGA members, perhaps a different member featured per issue. We at the Knight Rider will work closely with our elected officials in order to stay informed about the projects and efforts that they make. We will do what’s expected of us, and hopefully they will do the same. I for one am looking forward to it.