Quinnipiac Student Newspaper Told to Drop Housing Ads

Here we go again? Last month, Quinnipiac University administrators informed editors of The Chronicle student newspaper they should immediately stop running advertisements from area housing companies.

The newspaper refused the command, deeming it “a blatant example of prior restraint, and a chilling of free press.”

According to a Student Press Law Center report, QU officials vaguely cited student safety as a reason for the off-campus housing ad clampdown.  University spokeswoman Lynn Bushnell: “The university is well within its purview to establish policies regarding advertising within its own newspaper.  This is clearly not a free speech/First Amendment issue.”

Chronicle editor in chief Joe Pelletier is admirably leading the editorial board against the administrative stance.  In his words, “I don’t suspect the university will thank the Chronicle anytime soon for resisting prior restraint. But I care too much about the Quinnipiac community to allow its reputation to be tarnished with any sort of prior review or prior restraint.”

QU’s unfortunate penchant for student press trampling makes this current threat more worrisome than most.  As anyone alive within collegemediatopia circa 2008-2009 will recall, Chronicle editors and QU admins. staged a protracted battle over the paper’s Web-publishing rights and, eventually, its very identity. The result of that fight: the mass exit of the paper’s e-board and the founding of the online-only indy outlet The Quad News.

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