’07 graduate named to SPLC board

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Sommer Ingram, a 2007 graduate, will serve as the student director on the SPLC board of directors.

Story by Taylor Potter, Sports Editor

Former Tiger Times editor and 2007 alumna Sommer Ingram joined the Student Press Law Center Board of Directors on Jan. 25. Ingram will be serving a single three-year term as the newly-created Student Director.

“As the student member of the board, I will have the same responsibilities as the other board members including approving the annual budget and advising the executive director,” Ingram said. “I will also be the person other board members will likely turn to for a sense of what direction student journalism is moving in on certain issues and for ideas for engaging student journalists.”

While she may have had initial concerns about being the youngest member of the board, her first experience helped relieve her fears.

“I was a little intimidated going into it. However, everyone was extremely welcoming, friendly and excited to have a student member on the board,” Ingram said. “I look forward to working with and learning from these professionals.”

Ingram’s introduction onto the board is aimed to give the SPLC a better perspective as to what student journalists are doing.

“The SPLC has a strong commitment to arming high school and college journalists with the skills and knowledge they need to go out and make an impact in the world,” Ingram said. “Having someone more closely connected with current trends and needs of young journalists will ensure that the SPLC is meeting its needs and structuring its mission in productive ways for students.”

The SPLC was set up to advocate free press rights for students and provides free legal assistance for students and educators. Ingram is glad to be a part of what this organization stands for.

“Being appointed to the SPLC board is something I consider one of the greatest privileges of my young career,” Ingram said. “I am honored to work with such genuine, hard-working, brilliant people who are dedicated to one of my deepest passions. The SPLC makes all the difference for student journalists by instilling in them from an early point the knowledge that they have a voice that deserves to be heard and respected, and by equipping them with the tools to protect their rights to report the truth.”

Though she is new to the board, Ingram aspires to contribute to the ideas that the other members have for student journalism.

“I hope to help the board think critically about its approach to student journalism and make sure the members are looking at issues from all possible perspectives. The other board members have been in the field for years and bring a wealth of experience to the organization,” Ingram said. “Though my experience is limited compared to theirs, I hope my unique experiences of being a student journalist at a time where the field is constantly changing will help the SPLC integrate perspectives and strategies that don’t just rely on longstanding assumptions about journalism, but adapt and grow with the field.”