Campus Free Speech

Baylor U.'s Student Court Issues No-Contact Order to Journalists Covering Student Court

Keep in mind, this is a make-believe government (the best kind!).

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Palpatine
Star Wars

The student judiciary of Baylor University—a private, Christian university in Texas—has issued a no-contact order to student-reporters who work for Baylor's campus newspaper. The draconian order prohibits the staff of The Baylor Lariat from asking questions about a student-government scandal. Chancellor Palpatine, I'm told, would be pleased.

Two Baylor student-senators, likely drunk on power, have filed a pretend lawsuit against the president of the senate for "failing to uphold her duties as president of the Student Senate." Sounds very lawsuit-worthy. Keep in mind, this is a make-believe government (the best kind!). The kiddy judicial board will hear the lawsuit; in the meantime, the very self-important justices have issued a no-contact order that bars reporters from asking them any questions about the lawsuit, according to the Student Press Law Center.

In grown-up world, that's not how it works, obviously. Court participants can be barred from discussing a case with outside parties, but members of the media are always within their rights to seek such information. Lariat news editor Jonathan S. Platt understands that:

The Lariat got served a gag order Thursday. Upon seeing it, I was at a complete loss for words.

Section two of our newfound gift says, "No member of the press shall make intentional contact with any member of the Court regarding the case aforementioned …"

This court-ordered suspension bars the Lariat from contacting members of Baylor's student court, except in "procedural" and "substantive" matters, while McCahill, Hardy v. Kinghorn is being heard.

Simply put: This newspaper – a protected free press – is attempting to be silenced by a court – a protector of the law. See the infuriating irony?

Again, I'm stunned at this court's audacity. In fact, I'm furious.

The legal side of this is complicated only by the fact that Baylor is a private university, and may be entitled to set up evil student governments with silly rules. Still, it's a bad lesson in government-media ethics.

Or maybe it's a great lessons? Prepare the young journalists for a lifetime of fighting the good fight against government censors, I say.

Edit: Fixed spelling on The Daily Lariat.

Hat tip: The College Fix

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  1. Does this student court have any ability to enforce this order?

    1. “You, sir, are out of order!”

      ?slams fist on table?

      “No, YOU are out of order!”

      ?points finger menacingly?

      I would love to be there for that showdown.

      1. “THIS WHOLE MAKE-BELIEVE COURT IS OUT OF ORDER!”

        *slams Mountain Dew on floor – skateboards out of student union*

        1. *Doritos dust flying in the wake.

  2. The legal side of this is complicated only by the fact that Baylor is a private university, and may be entitled to set up evil student governments with silly rules.

    To be fair, all governments are evil and have silly rules.

    1. Well, I can’t be the only person who learned how stupid and pointless government was by attending meetings of student governments. So they have some redeeming value as an educational opportunity.

      1. Heh… I had a lot of fun in my social studies class when I was a high school sophomore. We had a “mock senate”, and I pretty much spiked all of my classmates’ bills by pointing out their grammatical errors and logical contradictions.

        -jcr

  3. Wow, were there ever a bigger bunch of wankers than the student government types? “As student president I pledge to do whatever the university allows me to do, provided we can get a quorum!”

    1. Student government is to real government what the NCAA is to the NFL. Few student government wankers make it to the big leagues of real government. Only the most conniving wankers make the cut.

  4. Baylor is not just a “Christian” school, it is a Southern Baptist school, largely supported by the tithes of people who have a world view slightly more modern than that of ISIS. Nonetheless, many of its professors are openly atheistic, premarital and same gender sex is practiced with little if any negative consequences and the curriculum would make the average SBC member blush. So, don’t put too much credence in the “Christian” label.

  5. I’m surprised as a kid when I played doctor I never got hit with a malpractice suit.

    1. There’s no such thing as doing that wrong if my memory serves me.

        1. How old was the patient? And was it human?

  6. These are not the scandals you are looking for.

  7. Excellent training for creating the next generation of actual government leaders! Perfect!

    Everything is working according to plan…

    *strokes white cat on lap and laughs maniacally*

  8. The term “self-important” is simply not strong enough to describe student government types.

  9. “failing to uphold her duties as president of the Student Senate.”

    “Where are the cookies? You were supposed to bring cookies.”

    1. “How could you bring peanut-butter cookies!?? People have ALLERGIES to peanuts, you know!!”

  10. “No member of the press shall make intentional contact with any member of the Court regarding the case aforementioned ?”

    Will the

  11. fail

  12. This brings up bad – but humorous – memories of when my college fraternity got railroaded by the then-new “student judicial board” my senior year. Long story short – we had an off campus party, therefore breaking no college rules (which only applied on campus). This was all acknowledged in the proceedings (I represented the fraternity as its president)….we were STILL put on double secret probation, were to lose two pledge classes, etc. etc.

    I managed to get the pledge classes reinstated by going directly to the administration, but the whole episode was a real-life lesson on the inevitable evil of government and power.

    “You didn’t do anything….but…HANG THE FACTS, GUILTY!”

    I got my revenge later when I was on the Alumni Board….

    1. I got my revenge later

      I read that as “revenge letter” and I thought gee, that’s a lot cooler than a letter for sports or debate club.

    2. Something similar happened to out chapter. Then, at the appeal, they used our appeal as evidence that we had not learned anything from the original “trial” and gave us an extra fine.

  13. Simply put: This newspaper ? a protected free press ? is attempting to be silenced by a court

    No, the newspaper is not “attempting to be silenced by”. That tortured construction should clue you in that you are trying to avoid attributing actions to the proper actors.

    So here’s my “intentional contact” to all who attempt to silence journalists, at Baylor and abroad: My pursuit to report is constitutionally protected and intimidation will not stop me. Try, but I’ll be dead before I stop this work.

    Now THAT’S more like it. Good on you Mr. Platt.

    1. He says that, but I’m guessing a car bomb or two would change his mind.

  14. Why the picture of Bill Belichick?

    1. He won another Superbowl?

  15. “revenge letter”… that’s a lot cooler than a letter for sports or debate club.

    Very nice. I hereby award you a heaping helping of a dish best served cold.

  16. I would suggest that Baylor’s lawyers tell the President and other adults to step in here. A student code of conduct and disciplinary procedures are basically a contract. If even a private university punishes a student contrary to its stated policies, that student has a cause of action for breach of contract.

    There is no way in hell Baylor could ever expel or punish a student for violating this fascist little order consistent with its policies. The journalists need to tell the Senators to go fuck themselves. And the Baylor Administration does as well.

    University student governments are cadet training for future fascist leftists of America. The most loathsome intolerant nasty people imaginable run these things. Think about it. If the people running the student government at Baylor, the country’s largest Baptist university, imagine how horrible they are at some place like Berkley or Madison or (gasp) Oberlin.

  17. This newspaper ? a protected free press ? is attempting to be silenced by a court

    Really? Did this kid flunk his English as a Second Language class?

    1. I am attempting to be masturbated by my hand, literally.

    2. He is the editor of the student newspaper. He wrote and published those words. It is not a quote of him speaking. That means he wrote it, thought about it, and thought it was a good idea to publish it.

      Yes, we are doomed.

  18. Freak’n little college “students” or “learners” or whatever chic label is in vogue are laughable twerps.

    They just love to balance that child/adult line: On one hand, treat me like a full blown adult. At other times, please keep me in a clean diaper.

  19. I can see why the student senate would not want a gaggle of cretinous illiterates chronicling their actions.

  20. Isn’t this the kind of court the anarchists embrace?

    1. I can’t speak for them but yes I think so. In the same way Progressives think working for government automatically makes someone virtuous and above reproach, Anarchist seem to think not working for the government does the same thing. Government is the most obvious and effective method for people to be tyrants. It is, however, not the only one.

      1. Anarchist seem to think not working for the government does the same thing. Government is the most obvious and effective method for people to be tyrants. It is, however, not the only one.

        No we don’t!!!!!!!

        We assert that non-governmental tyrants are more easily evaded than corresponding governmental ones. There is, however, no guarantee that everything would come out perfectly, always.

        1. Which is just as ridiculous. I would rather have the FBI after me than the mafia. Non governmental tyrants can be just as bad or in the individual case worse than governmental ones.

  21. So, now, rather than pretend journalists at Baylor making this a story on campus, they’ve got real journalists making this a national story. Oh, and their silly little no contact order doesn’t mean dick-all to the people now covering the story.

    Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

  22. Rand Paul’s alma mater (sort of, he left for med school after junior year).

    Also, it’s the Lariat. They spell it right in the quote.

  23. my buddy’s mom makes $86 an hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her check was $15207 just working on the computer for a few hours. site here…………….
    ????? http://www.netcash50.com

  24. They pretend to issue binding, lawful, orders; we pretend to comply with them.

  25. I keep hoping Robby will outgrow his childish view of politics as team sports, but it didn’t happen here.

    When this kind of behavior occurs on a largely left-wing campus, Robby links it however he must towards the admittedly revolting tendency of the left concurrent with the rise of feminism to censor. When this behavior occurs on a largely right-wing campus, though, Robby turns strangely mute on the relationship of that behavior to the right’s long history of favoring the censorship of ideas and speech it opposes.

    Come on, Robby. Time to grow up.

  26. I don’t see any problem with this at all. School is the place to learn about this kind of nonsense, so you can decide to fight it in real life. 90% of the crap we complain about in the real government (including police) happens because the courts aren’t doing their job. Might as well figure that out early.

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