Administrative policy regarding student media policy board | Policy Register | Kent State University

4 - 12.1

Administrative policy regarding student media policy board

  1. Basic statement.
    1. The student media should be free of censorship and prior review or restraint of copy. Student editors and student managers have sole authority to determine content for the media they lead and in turn take full responsibility for the content decisions made.
    2. Student editors and student managers should subscribe to canons of responsible journalism, as stated in the “Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics,” and the “Radio-Television Digital News Association Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct” and be free to develop their own editorial and program policies. Student advisors and student managers will be protected from discipline, suspension or removal based on the publication of content that is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Once appointed, student editors and student managers may only be removed through a procedure providing appropriate due process.
    3. The student media board has been established as a standing university committee. The student media board serves as the institutional publisher or de facto licensee and acts in all matters pertaining to those media that are written or broadcast primarily by students and financed primarily by university-sanctioned student fees. The student media board has no jurisdiction over official university, administrative, or departmental publications or broadcasts no matter how authored.
  2. Membership of the student media board.
    1. Two faculty members appointed by the faculty senate. Should the faculty senate not appoint two faculty members by September 15 of each year, members of the student media board may appoint faculty to fill those positions.
    2. Two faculty members appointed by the school of journalism and mass communication faculty advisory committee, at least one of which must be faculty in the journalism sequence.
    3. The director of the school of journalism and mass communication or designee.
    4. The director of the center for student involvement or designee.
    5. Six students: two appointed by undergraduate student government, one appointed by graduate student senate, two journalism and mass communication undergraduate student and one journalism and mass communication graduate student appointed by the director of the school of journalism and mass communication. Student members shall not be affiliated with student media. The student appointees may not serve concurrently as a member of undergraduate student government as listed in rule 3342-2-08 of the Administrative Code, nor as a member of graduate student senate, as listed in rule 3342-2-09 of the Administrative Code. Should undergraduate student government or graduate student senate not appoint students by September fifteenth of each year, the student media board may appoint students to fill those positions.
    6. One media professional appointed jointly by the director of the school of journalism and mass communication and the director of the center for student involvement.  The media professional appointee may not serve on the student media board concurrently while a full-time employee at Kent state university.
    7. Student editors and student managers will serve as non-voting members.
    8. Student media advisers will serve as non-voting members.
    9. The director of student media will serve as a non-voting member.
  3. Term of office.
    1. Faculty. The term of the office for each faculty member begins on September fifteenth and fourteenth.
    2. Students. The term of office for each student appointee begins after appointment on September fifteenth and continues until September fourteenth of the next year.
    3. All student media board members serve until their term expires or a replacement member is appointed.
  4. Board procedures.
    1. The director of the center for student involvement or designee will serve as the convener and chair until the committee elects a chair from among the journalism and mass communication faculty members on the student media board. Such election shall occur during the fall semester and the chair shall serve until the election of a new chair the following fall semester. The chair will appoint a vice chair who will assume the chairperson’s duty should the chairperson be unable to complete the term.
    2. The office of student media will provide administrative support to the student media board.
    3. Members, including the chair, shall retain the privilege of voting on all matters with the exception of the non-voting members.
    4. Notice of the meetings will be given to all student media board members and to the school of journalism and mass communication faculty advisory committee.
    5. Meetings shall be open to the public.
    6. The student media board will conduct its meetings in a manner consistent with the Ohio Open Meetings Law, section 121.22 of the Revised Code.
    7. A resolution, rule, or formal action of any kind is invalid unless adopted in an open meeting of the student media board.
    8. Meetings will be held regularly throughout the academic year, and as needed during the summer sessions.
    9. Special meetings may be called by either the chair, the director of student media or upon the request of two or more student media board members.
    10. A quorum shall consist of eight voting members. In the case of vacancies, this number shall be equal to a majority number of the remaining members to a minimum of four.
    11. All meeting minutes shall be recorded and forwarded to student media board members, the vice president for student affairs, and the dean of the college of communication and information.
    12. In the event that a quorum of the student media board cannot be convened in a timely manner, the chair of the student media board or designee and either an additional school of journalism and mass communication journalism sequence faculty member (if the request relates to emergency funding for the coverage of breaking news) or the director of the center for student involvement or designee (if the request relates to any other matter), will act on behalf of the student media board.
  5. Board charge.
    1. As the institutional publisher or de facto licensee for all student media, the student media board requires that each media organization establish a standard operating procedure when it requests funds, and thereafter to be reviewed and resubmitted by each funded medium every fall semester. The format of these procedures will be provided to each media organization.
    2. The student media board establishes criteria and guidelines for the appointment of the student editors and student managers of the various media organizations in its guidelines for the appointment of student editors and student managers.
    3. The student media board establishes criteria for the allocation of student activities fees in its guidelines for the allocation and use of student media activities fees.
    4. The student media board will not assume responsibility for student media publications or programs which it does not fund.
    5. The student media board reports to the vice president for student affairs and the dean of the college of communication and information.
  6. Specific responsibilities.
    1. Neither the student media board nor any student media adviser shall dictate or determine content for a student media organization nor will the student media board or the university discipline a student editor or student manager for the publication or broadcast of content that is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    2. The student media board gives responsibility for the day-to-day editorial operations of the media to the student editors and student managers of these media organizations. The student media advisers serve as non-voting members of the student media board and:
      1. The student media adviser shall function as a teacher, using the editorial, business and advertising operations to encourage responsible and enlightened journalism.
      2. The student media adviser’s role as consultant shall extend to all operations of the media organization.
      3. The student media adviser shall assist the editorial staff in planning and executing each issue, or supervising the programming of the operation, whichever may be applicable.
      4. The student media adviser will assist the student editor or student manager in staffing the other positions of the organization.
      5. The student media board will review serious policy disputes between the student editors/student managers and student media advisers that cannot be resolved by the parties in dispute. 
      6. Neither the student media board nor the university will remove a student media adviser from position as student media adviser based on content decisions made by student editors or student managers. 
    3. The student media board delegates the responsibility for day-to-day business management of the media organizations funded by the student activities fees to the director of student media, who serves as a nonvoting member of the student media board. The director of student media, who reports to the director of the school of journalism and mass communication, administers university policy related to the business affairs of student media and advises the media regarding those policies. In addition, the director of student media:
      1. Assesses long-term and short-term options for capital expenditures and investments related to quality and efficiency of operations;
      2. Supervises full-time staff and part-time student media employees;
      3. Oversees the generation and collection of income from all sources for advertising and related services provided by the student media;
      4. Coordinates preparation of annual budgets and makes recommendations to the appropriate committee for each funded medium to the student media board;
      5. Coordinates and signs all contracts between outside vendors and student media in accordance with rule 3342-5-04.1 of the Administrative Code;
      6. Approves all expenditures and signs financial transactions relating to the media; and
      7. Provides counsel and assistance to the student media leaders.
    4. The student media board must be consulted about any change in the director of student media, position description.
    5. The student media board and the school of journalism and mass communication faculty advisory committee shall be consulted on the appointment of all student media advisers.
    6. The student media board recommends policies and establishes procedures to insure consistent handling of student media-related matters. These include, but are not limited to:
      1. Administrative policy and procedure regarding the student media board.
      2. Guidelines for the allocation and use of student media activities fees.
      3. Guidelines for the appointment and salaries of student editors and student managers;
      4. Appeal process regarding annual allocations.
      5. Student media board grievance procedures.
      6. Guidelines for student editors and student managers salaries.
    7. The student media board requires media organizations seeking funding to do so in accordance with established guidelines. The student media board makes recommendations relative to requested funding for all student media organizations funded by the student activities fee. These funding recommendations are forwarded to the vice president for student affairs and the dean of the college of communication and information.
    8. The student media board establishes the selection procedures and makes final decisions regarding the appointment of the student editor or student manager for each media organization providing applicants are compliant with the student media board guidelines.
    9. The student media board must approve requests from currently funded student media organizations for any change in budget of more than $500. Such requests must be presented in writing to the director of student media. The director of student media may approve such requests as within the parameters described within this rule, the guidelines for the allocations and the use of student media activities fees. The director of student media will present any request exceeding five hundred dollars to the student media board with a recommendation for student media board action.
    10. The student media board operates in accordance with these policies and procedures, and if not clearly specified in this rule, reserves the right to decide non-content issues relating to funded media organizations, within the parameters of university policies and procedures.
Policy Effective Date: 
Oct. 12, 2015
Policy Prior Effective Dates: 
10/23/1989, 7/20/1990, 9/17/1993, 9/5/1995, 5/26/1997, 3/7/2000, 6/1/2007, 8/25/2014, 3/1/2015