Off-campus publisher seeks equal access to California college campuses

A San Diego publisher said his intent in distributing a job guide at local community college campuses is to help students find jobs, but he claims school officials and a “non-explicit” free speech policy are making it difficult.


In January, Miramar College officials confiscated publisher Bryan Barton’s news racks after he attempted to distribute the Student Job Guide, a publication that advertises jobs for students.

Dean of Student Affairs Julianna Barnes gave Barton permission to set up two news racks on the Miramar College campus in December. In January, Barton brought four of his own news racks to use, he said, because he wanted the publication to be as accessible to students as the college’s student newspaper.

Robert Garber, vice president of student affairs, said Miramar accommodated Barton’s distribution of the Student Job Guide on campus until he “brought four rusty, graffiti-covered news stands and deposited them on campus without any [prior] conversation with [the college].” 


In this case, Garber said, free speech “was never an issue. It was an issue of time, place and manner.” 

After Barton’s news racks were confiscated, Barnes told Barton in an e-mail that college policy does not allow placement of the racks “in or out of the free speech areas.” 

Barton said the free speech policy is inconsistent because the college allows the student newspaper to be placed in more campus news racks than it allows other publications.

Barton said he will be working with a lawyer and assistant chancellor of student services Lynn Neault, who drafted the free speech policy in March 2004, to discuss changes to the policy to promote consistency of publication distribution and have it specifically address the use of news racks on campus.