Report: Utah Chronicle ‘Drop-Cappers’ Allowed to Graduate

The University of Utah ‘Drop-Cap Nine’ have been allowed to graduate weeks after their infamous editorial sign-off provoked the ire of school officials and almost left them without diplomas, according to a new Student Press Law Center report.

Earlier this month, Utah administrators threatened to hold the academic records and degrees of nine graduating senior staffers at The Daily Utah Chronicle.  The reason: A series of columns run in the newspaper’s goodbye issue that overtly spelled the words ‘penis’ and ‘cunt’ via the bolded drop-caps starting each column.

At first, the school cried foul, stating “the editors were in violation of the university’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for, ‘intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or university activities,’ and ‘unauthorized or improper use of any university property, equipment, facilities or resources.’”

The drop-capping Chronicle staffers have now met with the dean.  They have been cleared of the alleged rules violations.  And they have been allowed to receive transcripts and diplomas.  The paper’s outgoing editor, about the brouhaha overall: “It was a good lesson for us as journalists and for the administration as well to see that they can’t just try to squelch our First Amendment rights without having some sort of pushback.”

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