MISSOURI — What could have been a battle over administrative control over the student paper, ended peacefully this spring.
The University of Missouri at Columbia’s student newspaper came into conflict with school officials regarding a contract that administrators signed with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The contract prohibits advertising of any non-Coke beverage on campus.
The Maneater student newspaper uses new distribution boxes that have areas for advertising posters from a national advertising agency. The university did not want the paper to use the new boxes because there was a chance there would be a non-Coke beverage advertised. The student newspaper already had prior contracts for the advertising space.
After investigating the university’s Coke contracts, the Maneater discovered that the contracts do not affect the paper boxes but the university still did not want the new boxes on campus.
The staff decided they had three choices: agree to what the administration wanted, go to the school’s board of curators for clarification on the Coke contract or go to court.
They decided to discuss the situation with the curators. A compromise was agreed upon by the Maneater’s adviser, Barbara Burlison, and the board of curators. The news paper boxes with the area for advertising would be allowed on campus except in the main academic building and in the alumni building. Instead, the Maneater placed old boxes that did not have the ad space in those locations.
“The old boxes look bad, but we were willing to compromise with the university,” Burlison said.