CONNECTICUT ‘ Central Connecticut State University President Richard Judd opened his copy of the student newspaper, The Recorder, one September morning and read on page 10, ‘How does having Sex on the Beach or an Orgasm sound?’
Judd did not think the advertisement referencing two popular drink names served at a local eatery, Elmer’s, was appropriate.
Realizing he could not censor the paper, he opted to circumvent the advertising manager, Catherine Turner, and went straight to Elmer’s. He ‘strong-armed the restaurant’ into refraining from running similar provocative ads in the future, said Sue Sweeney, faculty advisor to The Recorder.
The university has a ‘blue-chip’ program, which allows students to use money on their campus cards to purchase items, such as food, at off-campus venders. Judd told Elmer’s its participation contract for the program may not be renewed if similar ads continued to appear in the paper.
Elmer’s has opted to run its menu, in lieu of advertisements designed by Turner.
The Recorder decided not to take action against the president since there was no financial loss, Sweeney said.
‘Our editor’s stance was, ‘It doesn’t bother me until it hurts me,’ ‘ Sweeney said. ‘The paper would have stepped in if it had lost revenue.’
Judd cannot have a direct financial impact on the paper since the university does not subsidize The Recorder.
Even though there was no revenue loss, Judd’s actions have affected the creative freedom of Turner and the advertising department.
‘It stinks now, because whenever I design an ad it’s always in the back of my mind, ‘Is this offensive?’ ‘ Turner said. ‘I am walking on eggshells now, and I don’t want it to be like that because it is kind of censoring me.’
Even though Turner acknowledged that the president’s actions have infringed on her free speech, she said she will continue to curtail her designs to producing work she believes is acceptable to Judd.