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November 5, 2010 Commentary Print Print
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Last week, the Pioneer contacted the Records and Graduation office to obtain the date of the last day to drop fall 16-week classes.

The date was not to be used in a story, but rather, in a small bulletin in last week’s issue to remind students of the last day to withdraw from their courses.

Upon inquiring about this information, a Registration employee informed the Pioneer that we could not acquire the drop date without scheduling an appointment with the Registrar, Alan Stringfellow.

The Pioneer assured the worker that no quote was necessary, just a simple date. Still, the worker insisted Registration could not give out such basic information unless it came from the mouth of the registrar.

Because there was not sufficient time for such an appointment to be made before press time, the information did not go to print.

Subsequently, some of our readers may have been unaware they still had the opportunity to drop their courses without receiving an academic penalty in the form of a failing grade.

An interview should not have been required to obtain a simple piece of information.

The next day, this reporter called Records and Graduation on her cell phone and proposed the same question not as a journalist, but as a curious student.

I was given the information without a second thought.

If this information is so heavily guarded, what is to stop a student from either verbally relaying this knowledge or posting it on a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter?

There is no significant difference between a student and a student newspaper reporter obtaining such simple information. Both should be given ready access.

It is simply ludicrous that the Pioneer would be barred from obtaining information that is freely available to the public.

As a newspaper, the Pioneer’s purpose is to serve OCCC by informing, educating, enlightening, and entertaining its students, workers and guests.

The Pioneer prides itself on being relevant, timely, accurate, and useful to our readers.

However, we are unable to be those things without the cooperation of fellow OCCC offices and co-workers.

A newspaper cannot report the news without the means to obtain it.

By the way, the last day to drop classes is Nov. 12.

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