The First Amendment right to a free press suffered a blow today when it was determined that the publication of an endorsement for a presidential candidate by UR’s student newspaper could result in the loss of funding from the Students’ Association.The current bylaw, intended to prevent the unequal distribution of funds to groups formed for the sole purpose of promoting a political cause, should not be extended to media organizations. Senate’s classification of groups like Messenger and the Campus Times as media organizations in the Group Advocacy System demonstrates that these groups do not function for the same purpose nor work in the same manner as other groups do. Groups that serve as media organizations should be allowed to fulfill their roles in the distribution of the opinions of its members.In 1998, Congress adopted a “sense of Congress” revision to the Higher Education Act, stating that “no student attending an institution of higher education on a full- or part-time basis should, on the basis of participation in protected speech or protected association, be punished for engaging in conduct that would otherwise be protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments at a public college.” While a sense of Congress is not binding law, but rather a reflection of Congress’ views and recommendations, this revision has been viewed as a welcome step forward for press rights on private campuses. California has even adopted a law that requires private schools to afford the same student press rights that public school presses enjoy.All SA groups that function as media organizations should be willing and able to freely express the opinions of their members – political or otherwise – without fear of financial retribution. In enforcing this antiquated bylaw, the SA is continuing a dangerous precedent that amounts to an unwise restriction of the press.



Israeli-Palestinian conflict reporting disclosures

The Campus Times is a club student newspaper with a small reporting staff at a small, private University. We are…

Furries on UR campus?

A few months ago, as I did my daily walk to class through the tunnels to escape the February cold,…

The Clothesline Project gives a voice to the unheard

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 when founder Carol Chichetto hung a clothesline with 31 shirts designed by survivors of domestic abuse, rape, and childhood sexual assault.