To The Recorder Staff--
It has come to our attention that on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, Central Connecticut State University's newspaper The Recorder's Opinion Editor, student Marissa Blaszko, was fired from her position for an alleged conflict of interest. The Recorder's editor-in-chief called Marissa into a private meeting and presented her with an ultimatum to quit campus activism or resign her position with the student newspaper. Marissa refused to make a choice. She was later locked out of the office and fired.
The editor-in-chief told Marissa that she was being fired for her prominence in campus activism and her membership in the Youth for Socialist Action club, and not based on her job performance. It was explained to her that editors are forbidden to participate in campus protests against the Iraq war, or bring to campus the author of a new book on the frame-up of journalist and death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.
We declare as invalid any internal code or policy of The Recorder which presumes to grant its editor-in-chief the authority to purge the staff of such political convictions and activities as he or she finds disagreeable. Such an absurd claim to power contradicts every official policy of the University, every civil liberties egal precedent of the past 40 years, not to mention the animating spirit of our state and federal constitutions.
We consider Marissa's firing and any internal policy which its perpetrators would produce in an attempt to justify it as a subversion of basic democratic rights. Under no circumstances does an employer ever have the right to fire an employee for legally exercising her constitutional rights.
We demand Marissa's immediate and unconditional reinstatement to her position at The Recorder, along with a reaffirmation from the newspaper editors that it will not tolerate discrimination against its staff on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual preference, personal views or affiliations, or any other conditions established by the law.
15 CCSU student leaders
over 30 CCSU professors
over 130 CCSU students
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