Chicago State student newspaper pulled from presses

ILLINOIS — The editor of Chicago State University’sstudent newspaper, who earlier this month filed suit against his school’sadministration alleging unlawful censorship, has now been told his paper willnot go to print this week.

George Providence II and the Tempo have been at odds with CSUadministration since last year, when Providence says oppressive attempts atadministrative oversight began. The most recent development inTempo‘s saga began with the installment of a new adviser, QurayshAli Lansana, and culminated Monday night with Lansana’s decision tosuspend publication of Tempo.

“He told me we are not going to publish it … that there’s nopoint in publishing it because there was not enough original content,”Providence said of his adviser’s decision.

Providence suspects, though, that front-page stories critiquingadministration and the school’s low graduation rate are what sparkedLansana to refuse the green light for print.

As of press time, Lansana did not return calls for comment.

Late last week Lansana asked Providence to forward that issue’sproofs to him for his input. Providence reluctantly complied with the request.

“At some level, I believe his motivations are right. He wants toimprove the quality of the newspaper,” Providence said.

After reviewing the stories slated for publication, Lansana informedProvidence he would not send the issue to print, according to Providence.Stunned, Providence wrote to school officials to express his dismay andcontacted his lawyer to add the most recent grievance to his lawsuit.

“This week’s decision to stopthe presses is particularly disheartening,” Providence said in his e-mailto select members of CSU administration. “It not only further depressesthe morale of a vastly depleted staff who has felt like an orphaned child byvirtue of the administration’sinattentiveness to its needs, but it is also evidence of a cavalier attitudetowards the rights and expectations of students.”

For More Information: 

  • Newspaper editor, former adviser challenge censorship, termination with lawsuit News Flash, 2/11/2009