Student editor: Quinnipiac Univ. officials nix housing ads

CONNECTICUT –Editors at The Quinnipiac Chronicle say they were told to stoprunning advertisements from off-campus housing companies.

After administrators told Chronicle adviser Lila Carney about the change, she sent an e-mail to the staff Oct. 11.

Editor-in-Chief Joe Pelletier said this was problematicbecause The Chronicle was in the middleof a contract with an off-campus housing company, Novodor Properties, anadvertiser it has had for at least three years.

Pelletier said the editorial board sent an e-mail to MoniqueDrucker, associate dean of student affairs, asking how the policy wassanctioned and where it could be found in writing.

“Such a statement from the campus media advisor appears to ablatant example of prior restraint, and a chilling of free press,” the e-mailread.

The e-mail went on to point out how advertisements foroff-campus housing are visible on the walls of several building around campusand asked the administration to clarify why it singled out The Chronicle.

Pelletier and advertising general manager Tara McMahon eachmet with Dean of Students Manuel Carreiro and Drucker to discuss the situation.Pelletier said during the meeting Carreiro told him that The Chronicle was “his paper” and asked if Pelletier would pullthe advertisement.

McMahon said the administrators never gave a clear reason asto why they did not want the paper to run the ads, but they did say they wereconcerned over the safety of the students.

Carreiro referred questions about the situation to theuniversity public relations department.

“The University is well within its purview to establishpolicies regarding advertising within its own newspaper,” said Lynn Bushnell,university spokeswoman. “This is clearly not a free speech/First Amendmentissue.”

Spokesman John Morgan said university officials had nofurther comment.

After the meeting, Pelletier and McMahon sent theadministration another e-mail stating that The Chronicle would be happy to adopta policy dealing with off-campus housing companies, but he also stated that TheChronicle would continue to honor the advertising contracts already put intoplace.

Pelletier said although there is nothing in writing, theuniversity is planning to implement a policy that would restrict advertising inthe student newspaper. He said he has talked to Carney and Daniel Brown,director of the student center and campus life, about the proposal.

Pelletier said The Chronicle is also in the process of creating a resolution advocating for a freepress on campus.

McMahon said The Chronicle hopes to get other campus media groups, student government and thecampus chapter of Society of Professional Journalists to co-sign theresolution.

Pelletier said the staff plans to present the resolution tothe administration and hopes it accepts their desire for a free press oncampus.

“I don’t suspect the university will thank The Chronicle anytime soon for resisting prior restraint,”Pelletier wrote in an e-mail to the SPLC. “But I care too much about theQuinnipiac community to allow its reputation to be tarnished with any sort ofprior review or prior restraint.”