LOCAL News :: Local politics : Media : Protests and Vigils

St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists, Students protest takeover of SLU Student Newspaper

From 52nd City Blog:

In what's becoming a fascinating story to watch from the
outside-looking-in, the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists
has weighed in with another statement on the Saint Louis University
(near-)decision to change the charter of its student newspaper. An
action [was] planned at SLU [on 5/5/07] morning around this topic, which is
garnering considerable online and print media play in town.
Having read some comments in the comments sections of various blogs, I'm
well aware that the "general public" is not coming in full-square
against the SLU administration's stand. That's an odd, but somewhat
predictable, thing, as St. Louisans do have a tendency to side with the
power sources. The current edition of the U. News is rife with letters
to the editor, many from current and former students, which add some
necessary, passionate voices to the debate. You can read them at the

Below is the latest statement from STL's SPJ:

Dear fellow journalists,

The Saint Louis University board of trustees will vote Saturday morning
on whether to eliminate the existing charter for the University News,
the student news at SLU. If approved, the university will then rewrite a
new charter. After much public uproar, the administration now says it
will solicit input from the newspaper staff, but it will only give them
a week to provide opinions, according to Editor in Chief Diana
L.Benanti. And the students still have no clear idea what the charter
will actually look like once the administration acts.

Basically, the university is giving these students an ultimatum. Thus
the students continue to defend their editorial independence and remain
opposed to changing the charter for this 86-year-old publication.

Though not allowed to present their ideas to the board of trustees, the
students are still hoping the board might be convinced to take no action
on the charter. To sway the board, the students will pass out flyers and
demonstrate at SLU's DuBourg Hall, 221 N. Grand Avenue, starting at 8:30
a.m. Saturday (May 5).

They're asking all other journalists worried about campus free speech to
attend and participate.

Greg Cancelada
President, St. Louis Chapter of SPJ

Also some coverage on Urban Review STL blog:

Since 1921 the University News has been the student run newspaper at
Saint Louis University. However, trustees may vote to change the
charter to take editorial control away from the students. Students,
professional journalists and the public will be exercising their right
to protest on Saturday morning (May 5th) at 8:30 a.m. The protest will
take place outside the SLU administration building (DuBourg Hall) at 221
North Grand Ave (Grand & Lindell).

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-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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