The Bulletin relies on many different sources for gathering story ideas and news tips to keep students up-to-date on campus and area events. Local establishments, as well as Emporia State, provide calendars of events, which we utilize on a daily basis. Via ESU’s events calendar on BuzzIn, The Bulletin learned of the football team’s talent show last Friday night, which was held in Albert Taylor Hall. Under the impression that it was like any other campus event we have covered, we sent a reporter and photographer.
Following normal protocol, the reporter called at 3 p.m. on the day of the show to let the football staff know she would be in attendance and to schedule an interview with some participants.
Upon arrival at the event the reporter conducted an interview before the show began. Once the interview was completed, the reporter and photographer took seats at the back of the auditorium and waited for the show to begin. A member of the coaching staff then approached them and was uncertain whether or not they were allowed to stay and said he would speak with the head coach when he arrived. When Garin Higgins, head coach, arrived, he said that the event was private and only for football players and that the reporter and photographer were not allowed to be there.
He suggested that he wanted the football players to be able to make fools of themselves and the coaches without others’ knowledge. He then, in a voice that the reporter described as “rude,” said there was “no story.” They were asked to leave.
This is preposterous. First of all, our reporter called ahead of time to “okay” The Bulletin’s presence at the event, which was held in a public venue, and therefore, there was no reason for Higgin’s offensive reaction. The situation was, in its entirety, silly.
To clarify, the staff of The Bulletin is not angry over the situation – we simply feel miffed. This is ESU’s football team. It is our own. One would think that these two campus organizations, the football team and The Bulletin, would work together in order to have a unified campus. But The Bulletin was rejected.
Obviously, the football team was worried about being portrayed in a negative light, however The Bulletin is a professional collective. It is our goal to cover news objectively – anything that was done during this talent show would have been represented in a fair and informative manner.
If the coaching staff felt that the event needed to be private, they could have made it so by not allowing it to appear on a publicly accessible website as a public event.
People want to know what fun things there are to do on campus, and they want to stay in touch with people that represent them abroad (see: the football team). There are many sides to all students here at ESU, and seeing the football team off the field and on-stage may have given students an opportunity to expand their view of the players as people.
The Bulletin exists to serve as the paper of record for all enrolled students at ESU and as an opportunity for students to gain experience in the newspaper field – not to make students or faculty look like idiots.