To Save or Delete? That is the Question

Aug. 19, 2008 – A Shakespeare-level drama is unfolding at Seattle Pacific University–minus an s.


About 10 years ago, SPU student Shakespear Farwythian was arrested for alleged sexual assault. He was suspended from school. The Falcon, the student newspaper, published a story about the incident. The charge was later dropped. The original Falcon story remains in the paper’s online archives.


Currently, it is that story, not the original assault allegation, which is making news. Farwythian wants the story removed from the paper’s Web site, saying the Google-able item has marred his reputation, both for its reporting on his arrest and its inclusion of a quote in which he compares the school to the Ku Klux Klan. SPU administrators agree, ordering the newspaper to remove the story. So far, the student journalists have held their ground and Shakeapear’s story remains.


What do you think? Are archival rules changing in our Google-alert age? And do administrators have the right to get involved in student newspaper content, new or old, online or in print? Here is a Seattle Times story on the situation.

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