The voice of Emporia State University students since 1901 has been the student newspaper, the Bulletin. We met recently with three staff members and the faculty adviser to learn their perspective on the past year on campus.
Allison Funk, a junior, had no plans to join the Bulletin staff until she took Max McCoy’s Mass Communication course. “I became interested in journalism, and the next thing I knew I was in an interview, and then I was hired. It happened really, really fast. I immediately loved it and here I am.”
She has been on the Bulletin staff for two years and plans a career in journalism. “I want to be a media journalist; I will be voicing and editing all of my own things and hopefully working at a news station. This summer I’ll be working for KAKE television.”
She attended the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference (KCM) recently and won first place in the Digital Media category. KCM is the state-wide organization supporting student media outlets at Kansas colleges and universities.
Senior Cameron Burnett joined the Bulletin staff in summer, 2018, as the Opinion Editor. He was on his high school newspaper staff. “I knew that was something I wanted to continue in college. I learned about the Bulletin and did some research on it. I decided that was something I wanted to apply for. I took a couple of years away from journalism during Covid and took some time to step back and decide what I really wanted to do. I quickly came back to journalism; it’s always been something I’ve been very passionate about.” He will have an internship at the Wichita Eagle this summer.
Sam Bailey came to ESU in fall, 2021, following two years on the newspaper staff of Hutchinson Community College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Hutchinson Collegian. She was awarded the Journalist of the Year Award for 2020-21. At ESU she applied for a position with the Bulletin; “I thought design editor was probably something I was more suited for. So, writing stories for it, I got into one of Max’s news reporting classes, and just started writing a little bit more, and figured out maybe I wasn’t too bad at it.” At the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference, she was awarded the Four-year Journalist Award.
Bulletin Adviser Max McCoy reported that Bailey nearly swept the investigative journalism category for all divisions. She has won first place in news writing for the Kansas Press Association, and she won an award for a photo story covering student protests on campus.
McCoy said that the entire Bulletin staff was presented the Big J Journalism Award at the recent KCM Conference for their work covering the events at ESU during the past year.
McCoy earned a master’s degree in English at ESU and spent 20 years writing for daily newspapers and was a novelist full-time for about 10 years before his appointment to the Emporia State University faculty in 2006. He is a tenured, full professor, still writes novels, and is one of 33 faculty terminated in September 2022.
The three staff members interviewed agreed that the current school year, beginning with the firing of 33 faculty in September, presented unusual challenges. “Graduating has been the least of the stress that I personally have experienced,” Bailey said. “I found myself outside the Earl Center, with Cameron, watching our professors come in and get fired. That set the tone for a lot of this year. ”
The students agreed reporting on the administration did not go as they had hoped. “Communicating with student media is just something that the administration should be doing,” Bailey said. The students agreed that reporting on campus activities has been much more difficult because the newspaper staff has been shunned by the administration. The students noted that they have not been able to interview the university president since Aug. 2.
Burnett shared his disappointment with this, his senior year. “I feel that I’ve had something taken from me. I think a lot of seniors can agree with that. Especially on the Bulletin because there hasn’t been a lot of time to just sit and have fun.”
Funk emphasized the stresses endured through the year. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced, especially watching professors the day that people were fired. ... Professors were calling me crying — people that I look up to who usually don’t show emotion that often. You’re a student, and you’re hearing them cry because they were just fired. It’s all very intense.”
Funk continued, “I had Covid, then I had this. I don’t feel like I’ve had a normal college experience.
What is the future of the Bulletin? The response from those present: “There’s not much to say because we haven’t been told anything.”
The Bulletin, founded in 1901, has an award-winning student staff that have not been able to talk with university administration. The adviser, a career journalist and writer, has been dismissed. No plan for the future of the newspaper has been made public.
The question remains: What is the future of the Emporia State University Bulletin?
Bob Grover is Professor Emeritus, Emporia State University and Jim Calvert is a retired English teacher.
As long as it satisfies your need for revenge ,and its a mouthpiece for liberal views that you all seem to share ..... WHOE would be the day the paper voiced a conservative view .
The award-winning, nationally recognized ESU debate program is 149 years old, more than twice as old as Hush. It is unconscionable that Hush has ended this program. The Bulletin's uncertain future is equally troubling. One thing the dictators of the world seem to have in common is they do not allow freedom of the press. What is Mr. Hush aspiring to? What is he teaching the ESU students?
And remember, the president shut out the Bulletin because they accurately reported something he said during their interview and then refused to cave to his pressure to not report it in the first place. This isn't about a reorganization plan, it's just petty vengeance. Hush has no business being in charge of a lemonade stand, much less a university.
No debate team, no student newspaper? What does this sound like? Think about it.
This story breaks my heart. I eagerly read the Bulletin in the 1960s, first as a Roosevelt High School student, and then during my first two years in college at KSTC. It was feisty then, and it's still feisty today. I'm 900+ miles away, but I have lapped up the stellar reporting the Bulletin has done on the faculty firings. An integral part of campus life since 1901, but future uncertain? The ESU president hasn't spoken to Bulletin staff since August? Shame. A thousand-fold, shame!
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