A brief history of Cedars, Cedarville University’s student newspaper, circa 2008-2009:
September ’08: We start publishing. A deliberate effort is made to add conservative voices to the Viewpoints section.
October ’08: I write an editorial criticizing Gov. Sarah Palin. Paige Patterson, a CU trustee, is not very amused and tells the board as much. I develop a mancrush on Monsieur Patterson.
November ’08: Obama beats McCain and campus sinks into deep depression over fears of our new-elected, coke-addled Communist dictator.
December ’08: CU gives its Public Relations department, namely Sharyn Kopf, final approval for every issue. Obviously, certain articles then get cut because they do not fit the proper Cedarville image/experience/lifestyle/voice. New school tagline: “An 18-credit Bible minor and suppression of dissent? That’s so Cedarville!”
February ’09: I write an editorial that documents the non-existence of a “liberal agenda” in Cedars. It is seemingly well-received by faculty & staff, but no word from the board.
March ’09: My colleague Sarah Jones publishes an editorial arguing that “modesty panels” are ridiculous and that, per Jesus, the blame for lust lies with the beholder, not the beholden. ENTIRE SCHOOL FLIPS OUT. Straw, meet camel’s back.
April ’09: CU Provost John Gredy, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, effectively shuts down Cedars and I am laid off work. Remaining issue is canceled; faculty advisor (and U2 guru) Scott Calhoun resigns in protest; Cedars is put on hiatus until at least Spring 2010 and moved from the Lang. & Lit Dept to the Comm. Arts Dept.
When CU’s administration was questioned on its opposition to free speech (in the theoretical, not legal, sense), they replied: “We did it all for the lulz.” Hard to fault them for that.
Update: What was to be my last article for Cedars — before this fiasco came to a head — can be found online here as part one of a four-part series. The series is proof-positive that paying me $7.25/hr was a travesty.