Tiger Town Observer Receives “William F. Buckley” Award for “Outstanding Campus Reporting” -Zach Talley

The Tiger Town Observer would not exist without the Collegiate Network. The CN has consistently assisted the TTO with resources, advice, and connections which have allowed it not only to continue surviving but to thrive as well. Founded by William F. Buckley, The Collegiate Network was conceived as an organization to empower students to profess the truth even when that truth is inconvenient and requires standing up against college administrators. That is the spirit the Tiger Town Observer lives in. This is why it was such an honor to receive the William F. Buckley Award for Outstanding Reporting at the Annual Collegiate Network Conference last Wednesday.

The award was given to the TTO for its work in exposing Clemson’s discrimination against Robby Roberts. Mr. Roberts was exercising his constitutional right to Pray on Clemson University’s campus (a public university) with a simple sign that read “prayer”. Mr. Roberts was told to leave campus if he was to continue presenting the sign due to the fact that he was not in a “free speech” zone. The insanity of such a policy or the contrivance of any harm being done by Mr. Roberts actions could only come from the halls of higher academia.

This assault on free speech was first reported by TTO (now alum) Kyra Palange via a cell phone video where it gained national attention. The TTO proceeded to interview Mr. Roberts and meet with administrators to gain a full grasp of the story. Throughout this investigation the unconstitutional nature of campus policies became increasingly clear. The Collegiate Network felt that this dedication to truth and pursuit of the story warranted The Tiger Town Observer a receipt of an award who’s namesake blazed the trail in which we now follow: William F. Buckly. Since it’s founding, dozens of campus papers around the country have partnered with the CN and share that same passion to pursue truth on America’s campuses.

The Robert’s story was only one of many that the TTO reported on in a year where campus officials banned Harambe, Milo received death threats from members of campus, and a Clemson Admin recommended a “Cultural competency” for student government candidates, among many others. A Collegiate Network speaker defined journalism as “telling the truth about the things that matter.” This has been and will continue to be our mission on campus. The TTO is growing. We are a part of a broader movement that has shown the reality of what universities have become in modern America. More and more people are beginning to take notice. We will continue to inform, expose, and call out instances of biased and unconstitutional acts by Clemson, our campus, or any force we can face. To borrow (and slightly) amend a phrase from one of America’s earliest war heroes: we have not yet begun to expose truth.

 

If you are (or know) a Clemson student who has a passion for our country and our school and have an interest in participating in the TTO’s mission, please reach out to us.

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