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A coalition led by the American Association of University Professors and the Student Press Law Center warns of escalating threats to the civic health of America's colleges as a result of the retaliatory removal of journalism advisers and other attacks on the freedom of the student media, calling for a "significant cultural readjustment" that values transparency and accountability over image control.
The newly hired editor of The Famuan at Florida A&M University said Thursday afternoon that she hopes to improve the relationship between students and the newspaper during her term, which will kick off officially next week when the paper begins printing after a two-week suspension by the school's journalism dean.
The school hasn't made a formal announcement yet, but senior Angie Meus confirmed the news and said she was in the process of hiring the rest of her staff.
Meus applied for the position after Dean Ann Kimbrough reopened the application process, forcing current editors to reapply for their positions and inviting others to apply as well.
A year ago this week, staff of The Red & Black walked out in protest of policies they believed threatened student editorial control. For several days, students and the board of directors, which runs the independent nonprofit newspaper, found themselves at an impasse — culminating with a tense "open house" meeting where the paper's then-general manager got in an altercation with a student journalist covering the event.
2015 was a rollercoaster year for student media and First Amendment rights in schools. Review the year's highs and lows in the SPLC's recap post.
Federal rules require "research" involving "human subjects" to be approved by colleges' Institutional Review Boards. Overzealous colleges occasionally have insisted that student journalists submit their surveys or questionnaires for institutional pre-approval, violating basic principles of press freedom. The SPLC is urging the federal government to adopt a proposal categorically removing journalism from the purview of IRBs.