If you make someone look bad by exercising your rights, chances are good that someone will try to stop you.
On Monday, staff members of The Jambar were filming b-roll for a video about the Youngstown City Health District’s infrequent inspections of campus dining services.
Multiple times they were told to stop by Melody Monroe, general manager of Sodexo Campus Dining Services; Matt Novotny, executive director of student services in Kilcawley Center; John Young, director of Kilcawley Center; and Tom Totterdale, manager of Christman Dining Commons.
They were given a different reason each time.
First, Totterdale attempted to prohibit filming near Jump Asian Express due to a provision in Sodexo and YSU’s contract. Reluctantly, we obliged, but we quickly requested the contract from the YSU Office of the General Counsel.
There was no such stipulation.
After attempting to set up shop again in The Hub, contract in hand, the group quickly swarmed and again interfered. This time, their rationale was uncomfortable employees and business rights. The employees felt slighted by one of our headlines.
They desperately called on the university spokesman, and at one point even threatened to call President Cynthia Anderson.
Be our guest.
The reporters stood their ground, citing applicable case law and precedent, which left the handful of public employees without recourse.
After an hour of deliberation, we filmed.
Americans embody an array of liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Our favorite is freedom of the press.
We owe it to you, the students, to not accept no for an answer, especially when we know damn well it’s within bounds of our constitutional rights.