NEW YORK ‘ The Tangerine, the student newspaper at Utica College, was told directly by the college’s president not to run an advertisement for a competing educational institution in September.
SUNY Institute of Technology, another college in Utica, paid to advertise its fall open house in The Tangerine. The ad infuriated Utica President Todd Hutton, who sent an e-mail to the paper’s faculty adviser, Kim Landon, telling her not to publish similar ads in the future.
‘This is absolutely inexcusable,’ Hutton wrote. ‘I cannot permit our student newspaper to advertise for an institution that is in direct competition with us and that could pose a major threat to our very existence.’
The following week The Tangerine chose to combat the censorship attempt by running an editorial about the situation, which included a reprint of the ad in question and Hutton’s e-mail.
‘The Tangerine has run ads from other colleges in the past and it has never been an issue,’ wrote editor Nick Angelides. ‘It has never been a common practice, but it is something that happens from time to time.’
‘In our minds, UC and SUNY Tech are only competitors in a very narrow sense of the word,’ Angelides said. ‘And to advertise an open house in no way encourages students to abandon UC and take their money elsewhere.’
Although Angelides and his editorial staff protested the president’s actions, in the end they compromised with the school about accepting future advertisements from institutions of higher learning. The Tangerine has agreed to refrain from publishing ads for institutions that directly compete with Utica College. Both the administration and the newspaper believe the compromise has resolved the situation.