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Connecticut and New York college officials angry with ads, take action

(10/01/01 12:00am)

An advertisement for a popular student eatery published in the newspaper at Central Connecticut State University caused the school's president to threaten business relations with the restaurant last month. President Richard Judd did not approve of the advertisement, which read, "How does having Sex on the Beach or an Orgasm sound?" Realizing he couldn't censor CSSU's paper, The Recorder, Judd opted to circumvent the newspaper's advertising manager, Catherine Turner, and went straight to the owners of Elmer's restaurant. The university has a "blue chip" program that allows students to use money on their campus cards to purchase items, such as food, at off-campus venders.

Defender of student press rights named country's top high school journalism teacher

(10/01/01 12:00am)

An adviser who risked her job defending student press rights deserves to be commended. An adviser who has done so twice deserves to be named the year's outstanding high school journalism teacher. Terry Nelson of Muncie Central High School in Indiana was named the 2001 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, rewarding 25 years spent defending rights of the student press. In 1979, Nelson was fired from an advising job for refusing to tell school administrators the author of a letter to the editor.

Fraternity members file free-expression suit against Alabama university

(11/01/01 12:00am)

The Auburn University chapter of Beta Theta Pi is suing its national organization and the university for violating students' free expression and freedom of association rights, guaranteed by the First and 14th Amendments. The fraternity was recently disbanded by the university and the national organization after pictures depicting some fraternity members dressed in blackface and costumes deemed racially offensive by members of the campus community were posted on a Web site.

Sex toy cover prompts journalism chairman to pull student magazine off racks at San Francisco State University

(12/01/01 12:00am)

The head of the journalism department at San Francisco State University confiscated hundreds of copies of a campus magazine in mid-December before releasing them three days later. Editors ran a photo of sex toys on the cover of [X]press magazine to promote an "exclusive" story on a San Francisco dildo factory.

Updated guide to state open records and meetings law now available

(12/01/01 12:00am)

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has just published the fourth edition of "Tapping Officials' Secrets," the most comprehensive guide available to open meetings and records laws in every state and the District of Columbia. The guide, produced with the assistance of lawyers across the country who are experts in the area, is available as a printed compendium of all states or in individual state booklets.

New Hampshire superintendent reverses principal's decision to censor photo of female 'class sweethearts'

(12/01/01 12:00am)

After the principal of Dover High School said two girls could not be elected "class sweethearts" for the yearbook senior superlatives section, the superintendent overturned the decision. Nicole Salisbury and Ashley Lagasse were overwhelmingly chosen -- receiving 77 percent of the vote -- over other couples when the yearbook staff conducted a survey in November.

Campus sex offender registration bills introduced in Tennessee, Colorado

(01/01/02 12:00am)

Two state legislatures are considering bills that would provide increased public access to information on registered sex offenders who live or work on college campuses. Designed to comply with new federal guidelines regarding the disclosure of such information set to take effect in October, the bills closely mirror similar legislation passed in California in 2001. In Tennessee, SB 917 is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this month, after HB 561 passed the House last year.

Charges dropped against South Carolina adviser turned news photographer

(01/01/02 12:00am)

A journalism professor who was arrested in November while recording a campus car fire was vindicated in mid-January when a prosecutor decided the charges would not hold up in court. When Robert Pyle, assistant professor in the mass communications department at Winthrop University, showed up at the scene of a reported car fire on the Rock Hill campus toting a video camera, he was hoping to get footage for Winthrop Close-Up, a student-run video news magazine he advises. Instead, Pyle was arrested following a disagreement with a campus police officer, jailed for several hours and charged with hindering a police officer, an offense carrying a maximum penalty of $225 fine and 30 days in jail if found guilty. "What happened is that the fire was out and the officer didn't like me being there," Pyle said.