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Panel addresses free speech

The free speech panel on Nov. 28 marked the official opening of the Paly Journalism Digital Archive, a collection of all the previously published issues from various Paly publications.

Librarian Rachel Kellerman and Paly junior Charlotte Kadifa have been working together for the past year and half, scanning old Paly publications and gradually creating the journalism archives, which can now be found at

As a result of what Kadifa learned during the past year and a half working with old Campanile articles and in response to the current political atmosphere, the panel focused on student activism in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Paly students began to openly speak about what they believed was wrong with Paly and what changes they wanted.”

Charlotte Kadifa

Kadifa invited Palo Alto Online journalist Chris Kenrick and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian to speak during the panel, who were Paly students in the late 1960s. Kenrick was a staff writer for The Campanile, and Simitian was the student body president his senior year, 1969-70. Present on the panel was also Palo Alto historian Steve Staiger.

Simitian spoke about the mindset shift which occurred at Paly from the old-school ‘50s mindset to the newer age of rebellion in the ‘60s. Simitian also addressed the underground publications which were present at Paly at the time.

One such publication was called The Radical Rag and was run by current NYU professor Howard Besser. The FBI kept files on the students running the underground publications as well as information about their families.

The issues addressed at the panel were discussed as a way to detail the importance of free speech in journalism.

“My goal for my project and the panel is to remind students that we have a voice and to inspire them to speak out for themselves and others.”

Charlotte Kadifa

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