University chancellor halts newspaper funds

NORTH CAROLINA — The student newspaper at Fayetteville State University began publishing again in October after almost a month without funds.Harry Ghee, vice chancellor of student affairs at the school, halted funding for Fayetteville State’s student newspaper, The Bronco’s Voice, on Sept. 24, for what the newspaper staff contends was a content-related shutdown.The newspaper’s entire funding comes from the student activities office and the newspaper is a registered student group, which gave the vice chancellor an avenue to control those funds.Ghee said he pulled the paper’s funding because it had not submitted an approved constitution. The paper’s constitution had been under revision for two years. A student group is usually not allowed funds if they do not have an approved constitution. Harris said he believes the newspaper’s funding was pulled without warning because a photograph of the vice chancellor apparently asleep during a high profile meeting appeared on the front page of the newspaper last spring.Harris said it was a “content-related shutdown.”Until the photo was published, Ghee had allowed the student newspaper to publish, even though the constitution was under revision, because “of the impact and overall good” of the newspaper, he said.Ghee said the shut down was not content-related. The newspaper was not following the guidelines defined for student groups in the student handbook, Ghee said. He claims the constitution revision had gone on too long.The rules for student groups outlined in the student handbook state organizations must submit or update their constitution each year.Ghee said the student newspaper’s failure to submit an updated constitution for an extended period of time was the only reason he pulled funding.After The Bronco’s Voice submitted a revised constitution at the beginning of October, the Ghee allowed the newspaper to receive funding again, but only after the issue of censoring the newspaper had received much local media coverage.