The Spartan Echo is the nationally award-winning student newspaper of Norfolk State University. It was established in 1952 and functions as an officially recognized student organization of the university through the Office of Student Activities. The Spartan Echo exists to serve the university’s communication needs and to provide maximum opportunity for educational communication experience in fulfillment of the educational mission of the institution and the full spirit of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Spartan Echo is governed by the Student Publication Board, which is derived from a delegation of authority from the Board of Visitors through the President of the University.
The Student Publication Board supervises publications that are recognized student organizations that receive funds from student fees. The chairperson of the Student Publication Board is designated by the Vice President of Student Affairs, usually the Director of Student Activities. Student Publication Board meetings are normally open except when the board votes to convene in executive session in compliance with state regulations governing open meetings. Visitors may address the board if clearance to do so is obtained from the chairperson at the beginning or at an opportune time during a meeting. Visitors do not have the right to make formal motions and may not attend the final discussions of the candidates for editors and managers.
Student editors may develop their own news and editorial content free from censorship and threat of reprisal, suspension or removal from office. Freedom of the press as guaranteed by the Constitution is not impeded or interfered with by Norfolk State University or any of its agencies, staff, faculty, administrators or student government bodies. The university expects that the student media will conduct their business in a professional and responsible manner, adhering to the canons of journalistic ethics and, as applicable, to local, state and federal rules and regulations governing the media.
The Spartan Echo is advised by a full-time faculty member of the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism according to the standards of College Media Association, Inc. (CMA), the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). While the adviser serves as a coach and mentor to the students and as the publisher’s representative on staff, advising is conducted according to the Spartan Echo Bylaws (described above) and the industry standards established by CMA, SPLC and SPJ.
Norfolk State University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out directly or through a third-party, or any other entity with which Norfolk State University arranges to carry out its programs and activities.
Meet our adviser, Steve Opfer [ firstname.lastname@example.org ], a full-time faculty member in the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism. He explains how the Spartan Echo serves not only as a student newspaper and multimedia operation, but how it functions as a journalism and online publication laboratory supporting academic development through hands-on training experiences.