To the Editor:

I would like to take a moment and respond to the incident regarding The Free Press.

I have been at USM for 10 years, first as a student and now an employee. I also happen to be a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, which is why I have an obvious interest in this issue. Due to recent events in our country we have all taken our freedom more seriously and been more aware of how lucky we are to live in the United States.

I believe in free speech and the freedom of the press, but the Constitution also protects our right to due process. I feel those involved have not yet been given a fair chance by the media or the University to explain themselves. I have not obtained all the details in the matter so I won’t take a position as of yet and neither should anyone else.

The assumption has been made that the students were taking the newspapers in retaliation for negative statements in the previous issue, but this has not been proven. It is noteworthy that the paper is “free” and probably supported financially, at least in part, by the student activity fees paid by those involved in the incident. If the students’ intent was criminal then a fair punishment is warranted, but the rhetoric in the media is going too far. The students will receive a fair trial in court, I only wish they had received the same from The Free Press and the USM administration.

I would also like to add that during my time at the Sigma Nu house violence against women was never reinforced and a person’s sexual orientation was not used as means of judgment or a condition of membership.

Sincerely,

Mike Pridham

Staff, Office of Institutional Research

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