Statement of Policies

Washington State University
Board of Student Media

The Student Media Board is a forum for students, faculty and staff to help direct the operational policies at The Daily Evergreen and Chinook. The public is welcome to participate in monthly meetings and to propose agenda items on any issues not related to content of the publications. Board members  select and may remove the Chinook editor, Evergreen editor, and graphics manager. The board is regulated by the Statement of Policies established in 1998.

Students of Washington State University have the undeniable right as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to speak, write and publish their sentiments freely on all subjects and shall be free from censorship, advance review or approval.

With the exception of collaborative marketing publications and products explicitly created to provide students with experience and education in strategic communication and marketing, student editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial policies regarding news coverage, or content without interference by the university or its administrators, faculty, staff or agencies. The university shall provide for the exercise of these freedoms with various student publications serving as public forums for expression. Students working within Student Media shall bear the legal responsibility for what they speak, write and publish.

Washington State University shall make no rule, regulation or policy that abridges students' freedom of speech and of the press. To protect these freedoms, Washington State University prohibits any university official from requiring student or professional staff members to submit materials for prior review, or imposing sanctions against any student or Student Media professional staff member on the basis of the content of any student publication. University officials, faculty, staff or agencies shall neither directly, nor indirectly, compel nor prohibit speech on the basis of the views expressed. Moreover, university officials shall not deny funding based on the content of these publications.

Section I. Charge to the Board of Student Media

The charge to the Board of Student Media includes the following general powers and responsibilities:

A. To monitor all media and departments and to develop, implement and mediate policies of governance for Student Media.

B. To act as a liaison between Student Media and the campus and community at large, and to act as an advocate for the students and their publications.

C. To approve the annual budget and capital investments.

D. To provide, with the help of professional staff, input for long-range planning and goals in all areas of responsibility.

E. To appoint student managers for all departments and publications in accordance with the Operating Bylaws.

F. To establish, consolidate or discontinue any publication under its control, subject to approval of the university president and the Board of Regents.

G. To ensure that facilities and equipment shall be used only for productions of Student Media.

H. To ensure that all properties, funds, securities and titles of any publications established under Board of Student Media authority shall be managed in accordance with the fiscal management policies of Washington State University.

I. To approve operating bylaws and to adopt grievance and appeal procedures.

Section II. Director Responsibilities

The director for Student Media is delegated the following responsibilities by the Board of Student Media:

A. To act as principal fiscal officer with responsibilities to effect prudent fiscal control over Student Media. The director shall administer the day-to-day operations of Student Media and manage all business and budget affairs of its employees.

B. To evaluate, hire and terminate professional staff in accordance with university policies. The Board of Student Media shall be informed of any changes of employee status.

C. To maintain financial records and report regularly to the board.

D. To prepare and update annually a long-range plan for systematic growth of Student Media and an operating budget for the fiscal year, subject to Board of Student Media approval.

E. To monitor and enforce the policies of the Board of Student Media.

F. To provide written notification and agendas via email for board meetings at least one week prior to board meetings.

Section III. Professional Staff Advisory Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the professional staff of Student Media are threefold: to oversee and protect the financial viability of the organization, to facilitate student expression and participation in Student Media, and to organize and direct specific training activities in applicable laws, ethics and practices in journalism, advertising, design, marketing, social media, video, audio and other media formats and communication models as they become relevant. 

Section IV. Amendments to the Statement of Policies

Proposed changes to the Statement of Policies and/or Operating Bylaws require a two-thirds affirmative vote of a two-thirds quorum of the voting membership of the Board of Student Media. 

Section V. Emergency Meetings of the Board of Student Media

Any member of the Board of Student Media or any 15 members of the campus community, through written petition to the director, may call an emergency meeting of the Board of Student Media and determine items on the agenda. Such meetings shall follow established procedures with the chair or vice-chair presiding. Any emergency meeting must attain a simple quorum to conduct official business. An informational meeting may be conducted if a quorum is not attained.

Operating Bylaws

The public is welcome to participate in meetings of the Board of Student Media and to propose agenda items on any issues not related to content of the publications. All Board of Student Media meetings shall include a period for public comment.

Section I. Board Membership

The Board of Student Media shall be composed of 14 voting members and the director of Student Media. Each member is selected to represent a part of the WSU Pullman campus. The goal for all operations of Student Media is to reflect campus diversity.

A. Nine student members, all voting: Students shall be current WSU students. Members shall include two students selected by ASWSU; two from the graduate classes; and student managers from these departments within the Office of Student Media: The Daily Evergreen, graphics, the Chinook Yearbook, and one student at-large chosen by the editor-in-chief.

1. All students on the Board of Student Media, with the exception of the student managers and graduate students, shall serve staggered terms of three years, or until they no longer are students of WSU. The graduate students shall serve a term of two years.

2. The Associated Students of Washington State University shall nominate one student to fill each non-manager undergraduate vacancy. The Graduate and Professional Students Association shall provide one nomination for each graduate student vacancy. 

B. Six members of the faculty and staff, all voting:

1. The director serves ex officio. Faculty and staff nominations shall be made by the following areas:

a. A representative of WSU News/University Communications.

b. A representative of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

c. One at-large member, limited to alumni and/or community member.

d. Two at-large members, including, but not limited to, faculty, staff and community members.

Section II. Selection of Student Managers

Applicants shall submit the proper application forms at filing times, and interview before the Board of Student Media at a designated time. Student managers shall be accountable for upholding the policies and procedures set forth by the board, pertinent to the positions for which they apply.

The following criteria must be met by all applying for student manager positions at Student Media:

A. Applicants shall be students enrolled at Washington State University who are not on academic or disciplinary probation.

B. Applicants shall have at least a 2.3 cumulative grade point average.

C. Applicants shall not hold an elective or appointive position in student government during their tenure as an editor for The Daily Evergreen.

D. Terms of appointment for student managers shall conform to their job descriptions. All student managers are eligible to apply for additional terms.

F. Student managers shall be responsible for selecting and organizing their respective staffs. Each shall have the authority to remove any staff member duly appointed, subject to the policies and procedures established by the Board of Student Media and the university, and each shall inform his/her professional staff adviser and the director of any changes.

Section III. Conflicts of Interest

All student staff members are required to notify their respective student managers when and in what capacity they intend to work for competing media.

In the event of a perceived conflict of interest, the student manager in the affected area shall determine an appropriate course of action in consultation with that student, the director and respective professional staff member of that area.
Student managers are required to inform professional staff and the director if they intend to work for competing media and in what capacity.

The Board of Student Media shall mediate unresolved disputes.

Section IV. Filling Vacancies of Student Manager Positions

In the event of the resignation of a student manager or a vacancy resulting from unforeseen circumstances, an interim appointment shall be made by the director in consultation with the relevant student managers, student staff, and professional staff. 

The interim appointee may petition the board in writing for permanent appointment to occur at the next regular board meeting. The interim appointee shall forward that petition to the chair of the board prior to that meeting. The Board of Student Media shall determine the method of filing for permanent appointment.

Section V. Removal of Student Managers

The Board of Student Media may remove a board-appointed student manager for failure to perform his or her duties and responsibilities as required by the job description in section VI of the Operating Bylaws. Content-based issues are expressly disallowed as grounds for removal, in accordance with the Statement of Policies.

A petition for removal must be submitted in writing to the chair of the board or the director and brought before a two-thirds quorum of voting members. The petitioner and student manager shall have equal time before the Board of Student Media, and interested parties may be heard at the discretion of the chair. A majority vote to remove a student manager must be obtained from the two-thirds quorum.

Emergency dismissal may be necessary when a student manager is believed to have violated state or federal law, to be a threat to others, made a major ethical breach or has jeopardized the financial health and/or stability of their publication, department, or the Office of Student Media. As mandated above, issues of content are expressly disallowed as grounds for removal. Emergency dismissal requires approval of at least four of these five board members: Editor-in-chief, advertising manager, Chinook editor, creative manager, director.

In such an event, the director may appoint an interim leader, as described in Section IV of the Operating Bylaws. The board must be immediately notified. The affected student manager shall be given a chance to appeal the dismissal before the board, and interested parties may be heard at the discretion of the chair. The dismissal must be approved by a majority vote of board members present.

Section VI. Job Descriptions of Student Managers

The Board of Student Media shall adopt and amend job descriptions of student managers through a process that represents the interests of student managers, student staff, professional staff and the university community.  All student manager position descriptions are available in the Student Media main office.