LOUISIANA — The editor in chief of The Gramblinite, the student newspaper at Grambling State University, says he will submit a request to administrators today urging them to eliminate a new policy requiring the newspaper’s faculty adviser to review all material before publication.
“We don’t need our adviser to read and edit everything,” said Gramblinite Editor in Chief Darryl Smith.
Provost Robert Dixon closed The Gramblinite’s operations on Jan. 24 before allowing it to reopen the following day under new guidelines that required Publication Adviser Wanda Peters to read and edit all material prior to publication. Smith said his request asks to remove prior review and for the university to adopt a policy that protects students’ freedom of expression.
“We are asking them to adopt that policy so things like this won’t happen again,” Smith said.
The latest issue, originally scheduled for distribution last Friday, finally hit the racks on campus Tuesday, Smith said. Peters did not edit any content in today’s issue, which included a story about the suspension and an editorial that criticized the administration.
“I don’t know that she’d pull any stories, what I was worried about is that they may put an adviser in who does edit the content of stories,” Smith said.
Even if Grambling State’s administrators accept The Gramblinite’s proposals, Smith said he wants the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors to investigate the newspaper’s suspension.
“It wouldn’t be right if they got away with doing something this illegal,” Smith said.
Smith said while he does not know when Dixon would respond to his request, he anticipates an answer soon.
“I think he’ll respond as quickly as possible, because I think he’s tired of getting phone calls about this,” Smith said.
By Jared Taylor, SPLC staff writer