N.Y. court rules that community college association is subject to state open meetings law

New York’s highest court ruled in mid-February that a separately incorporated organization that directs the expenditure of student activity fees at a New York community college is a public body bound by the state’s open meetings law.

The Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College Association, which is comprised of administrators, faculty members and students, controls the collection and disbursement of mandatory student activity fees at the public school.

At a December 1993 meeting, the Association voted to suspend publication of the school’s student newspaper, The Bridge, after the paper published a controversial column. Four months later, the Association held a meeting to discuss whether the ban on The Bridge should be lifted. After security guards prevented the editor of The Bridge and another journalist from attending that meeting, which the president of the Association had ordered closed, the two journalists sued.

The Association claimed