Hunter Bishop's article of photo ban of CIA at UHH

UH-Hilo's new photo ban policy panned
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 09:15AM
Hunter Bishop in Media, Commentary, Education, Community

Two groups that expressed concerns about the University of Hawaii at Hilo's policy regarding photographs of public events on campus have registered disappointment with the university's response.

Jim Albertini, of Kurtistown's Malu Aina Center for Non-Violent Education and Action, and the Big Island Press Club board, of which I'm a member, have echoed my personal view, which is that the university's new policy of asking campus visitors whether or not they'd like a photo ban placed in effect serves to undermine First Amendment rights and would continue to restrict the ability of the media to do its job on the public campus.

The Press Club recently sent Keith Miser, vice chancellor for student affairs, a letter reminding him that, "It is a general practice in America that governmental and civic processes should be open, unless there is a compelling reason for closure."

"Your solution to the awkwardness of Mar. 8 backtracks from that American practice,"  wrote BIPC President Peter Sur.

Albertini issued a press release yesterday saying:

Miser has it backwards. He is not working for a  private company. He is working for a public university.  The University should be telling all job recruiters that the events need to be totally open (like other universities have done) since the University is a taxpayer run institution and taxpayers are paying the bills for the facilities.  If CIA and other recruiters don't want their faces to be photographed at UHH they can put a bag over their heads.  If they want a private event, they can rent a room at a local hotel and issue invitations.

I hope university officials will see fit to review their policies on photographs once again, this time with a more careful eye toward its civic responsibility to the community it serves rather than unnecessary courtesies extended to campus visitors.
Article originally appeared on News and commentary from Puna, Hawaii (http://hunterbishop.com/).
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