Anthem decision in national media

Many students traveled across the U.S. during Goshen College’s Spring Break, but students weren’t the only thing to go national during that week.

The Associated Press out of Indianapolis released their story “Ind. college lifts 116-year ban on national anthem.” According to Goshen’s Public Relations office, by 8 p.m. March 1, 273 Web sites had published the story.

While not all of those were news sites, many leading national news sites did publish the article online. However, the Public Relations department at Goshen doesn’t know how many, if any, actually printed the story in their newspaper or magazine, though a few radio stations did include the story in their broadcasts.

A reporter at the Beijing News, Beijing, China, also contacted Richard Aguirre, director of public relations at Goshen College, for an interview about the anthem decision.

“I thought it was spam at first,” he said.

Aguirre said he hadn’t responded yet, but planned to.

Aguirre said the Associated Press article did cause a second round of public response. He approximated that around 50 e-mails, some in support and some not, were sent because of the national story.

He also said that as of Feb. 25, Goshen had received 203 e-mails. Of those, 132 opposed the decision to play the instrumental anthem, 58 were in favor of the decision and 13 were neutral.

Look for this article online for links to the Associated Press story.

In The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/20/us/AP-US-Star-Spangled-College.html

In The Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/20/AR2010022002035.html

SIDEBOX ONE:

The Associated Press story on the national anthem decision at Goshen was on many major news outlet Web sites including:

The Boston Herald, CBS News, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes (magazine), FOX News, The Houston Chronicle, The Huffington Post, The Indianapolis Star, Inside Higher Ed, the Los Angeles Times, MiamiHerald.com, Newsday, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, TIME (magazine), USA TODAY, and The Washington Post.

SIDEBOX TWO:

Goshen College isn’t the only Mennonite college to go against their usual routine and play the national anthem in March.

Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., will be hosting the NCAA division III tournament, and under NCAA rules, will have a flag in the gymnasium and play the anthem before games, both things they do not do otherwise.

Jim Bishop, public information officer for EMU, said the anthem “will probably be played because it’s required by the NCAA.”

In an online statement, Bishop and EMU President Loren Swartzendruber explain why EMU does not present the flag on campus or play the anthem before athletic events, but do state that in “the case of events on campus that are hosted by outside organizations (such as…NCAA post-season play) the flying of the flag and playing of the anthem is determined by those organizations hosting the event.” Local high schools also often use their facilities and bring along their own flag and recording of the anthem to use at their games.

After placing tenth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the EMU men’s basketball team won a bid to also play in the NCAA tourney, and will begin their game against Centre College, Danville, Ky., after the anthem is played.

Bishop said he didn’t know for sure who would supply the flag or the soundtrack, but assumed it would be NCAA and not the university.

Written by Marlys Weaver

Marlys E. Weaver is a senior journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Record. She grew up living and working on a Guernsey farm and has worked at Maple City Market as a sales staff member and newsletter editor, and on an organic coffee farm in Peru, giving her a well-rounded interest in food and agriculture. She has also reported for "The Farmers' Exchange," "The Elkhart Truth," "The South Bend Tribune," and collaborated on a story on msnbc.com.

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