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Fairmont State University’s newspaper adviser filed a grievance on Tuesday against the university in response to his dismissal in May, not long after The Columns student newspaper he advised published multiple articles critical of the university’s response to black mold on campus.
The university president decided to remove a department head from his supervisory position over the student newspaper, after allegations of intimidation once the paper published investigative stories on black mold.
After turmoil at the Fairmont State newspaper, including their adviser's dismissal and allegations of administrative intimidation, student editors have resigned in protest and will start an independent watchdog news site.
This past school year, student journalists at Fairmont State clashed repeatedly with administrators. Their adviser was dismissed and the students felt forced to resign their positions as editors. An SPLC investigation uncovered a culture of intimidation with student media at the university for the past decade.