Working to #BeHeard: Former Acumen editor-in-chief reflects on involvement in New Voices legislation movement


Selena Qian '17, former Acumen editor-in-chief

I was part of New Voices Indiana back in the 2016-2017 school year. It was exciting to help put together and advocate for a bill to protect student journalists and their advisers. We started by meeting with all of the stakeholders and reaching out to them. We spoke in support of the bill in a committee hearing.
It was morning, on a school day. I remember waiting for hours to even get to our bill, HB 1130. When it came to my turn, I said my piece, proudly clad in a blue shirt emblazoned with the official motto of New Voices, #BeHeard. The committee unanimously sent the bill to the House, where it passed 88-4. Then HB 1130 went to the Senate, where the legislature adjourned without voting on the bill.
When I heard what had happened, I was upset. We had spent so much time presenting our case with little opposition until the last minute. I was hopeful. I believed it would pass. I was naive. I thought since we weren’t asking for much and we had good reasons for what we asked, the bill would pass into law and guarantee press freedoms to students. While I now know things are rarely that simple or easy, I also know that student journalists are curious, tenacious and willing to put in the work to continue the New Voices movement.

The view in this column do not reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Selena Qian
at [email protected]