The Student Press Law Center has awarded the 2021 Reveille College Press Freedom Award to the Rocky Mountain Collegian at Colorado State University. Reporter Laura Studley conducted a four-month investigation into sexual misconduct accusations against a now-former professor and the university and local law enforcement’s lack of engagement on the allegations. Studley and the Rocky Mountain Collegian’s work is an excellent example of courageous student journalism which exposed misconduct and opened important conversations on campus.
“I’m thrilled to have won this award for The Rocky Mountain Collegian,” Studley said. “It was such an incredible opportunity to be able to write this article. I learned and grew so much as a journalist. I think the most rewarding thing for me was being able to connect survivors to one another and to help them realize they weren’t alone.”
The Reveille Seven College Press Freedom Award is given annually to an outstanding college news organization that speaks truth to power and demonstrates outstanding support for college press freedom. The Reveille Seven were a group of student journalists at Louisiana State University who were expelled in 1934 after publishing criticism of then Louisiana Governor Huey Long. Years later, they were cleared of all wrong-doing. The Reville Seven College Press Freedom Award is presented in partnership with the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University and the Associated College Press. LSU also provides a $2,000 prize to the winning organization.
SPLC executive director Hadar Harris said, “We commend Laura Studley for getting answers despite being stonewalled by university officials for weeks on end. She also conducted multiple interviews with each survivor to go over details, verify facts and ensure every step of the way that they still wanted to participate. Studley’s reporting is emblematic of the Reveille Seven’s courage and tenacity, whose legacy we are proud to honor with this award.”
“The Collegian journalists spent months putting together this important public safety report that should concern everybody associated with Colorado State University (CSU),” Adviser Jake Sherlock said. “Laura and the team of editors supporting her took great care to verify the story of the two survivors who bravely came forward to tell their stories. Without the help of these two brave CSU students, this reporting wouldn’t have been possible. I’m very proud of the work our journalists did to tell this important public safety story.”