Newspaper rack negotiations resume between Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida



The University of Florida postponed plans to remove and replace two dozen of The Independent Florida Alligator's on-campus racks, one day after the independent student newspaper filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction.

The newspaper has been fighting a school proposal that would put the university in charge of the paper’s distribution sites on campus. The Alligator and other publications would be required to use black modular racks and sign a licensing agreement with the university.

The school originally planned to charge $100 per year for a full space in the racks, but agreed to drop that requirement last week, shortly before the lawsuit was filed.

Campus Communications, Inc., which publishes the Alligator, asked a U.S. district court to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the university from removing the paper’s signature orange newspaper racks by August 15, the deadline the university initially set.

The revised deadline for the two groups to come to an agreement is now Jan. 6. "At that time, the Alligator will need to use the modular units established on campus just as other publications do," reads a statement from the university issued Friday.

Tom Julin, the attorney representing the paper, said he was glad to hear the two sides would have another opportunity to work out a compromise.

“I’m glad that they’ve decided to postpone,” Julin said. “It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit to do that.”

In the meantime, the paper plans to continue working with a UF economics professor who is studying the impact using the school’s racks would have on the paper’s distribution. Julin said he expects to set up meetings with university officials shortly.

 

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