Director loses job for refusing to permit prior review

NORTH CAROLINA — Officials at St. Augustine College in Raleighconfiscated almost the entire press run of the student paper and firedthe adviser because he refused to allow “administrative review of the studentnewspaper prior to its publication,” said Sevealyn Smith, communicationsdepartment division chair, in a memo sent to the former adviser.

Calvin Hall, former director of student publications at the college,said administrators told him they wanted to begin reviewing the publicationin February. Smith said officials were concerned with typographical errorsin The Pen.

But after The Penran a front-page story and photo about a studentwho was stabbed in his dorm room, a school official was told to take allthe newspapers off campus, Hall said.

When Hall learned of the theft, he went to the president’s office withthe editor and managing editor. While there, he said he found approximately100 papers, of the 1,200-paper press run, in the trash can.

According to Hall, St. Augustine President Dianne Suber said the photographand story were “inappropriate” to publish because the school has a verystrict anti-drug policy.

The photograph was of a student lying in a hospital bed showing hisstab wound. The student was charged with felony possession of marijuana,and the stabbing was drug-related, according to Raleigh police.

College officials did not return phone calls made by the Report.

Because student editors decided not to allow the school to review thenewspaper, Hall’s superiors fired him.

Hall said he was upset at first but decided he does not want to be apublic relations tool for the college.

“They don’t want a director of student publications; they want an administratorof propaganda,” Hall said.