Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.”
Q: Can my access to meetings be limited due to COVID-19?
A: If you normally would have access to the meetings (and they continue to occur), you have a right to be present. In other words, COVID-19 cannot be used as an excuse to bar you from attending a meeting otherwise protected by your state’s open meetings law. If in-person meetings are moved to a teleconferencing platform to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you have a right to access the meetings through that platform too. But if meetings are canceled completely, it might be worthwhile to keep an eye on official decision-making during this time to ensure public business activities that are supposed to take place in open meetings do not occur behind closed doors just because the meetings are not happening.
See SPLC’s Coronavirus Toolkit for additional resources like a letter affirming student media is an “essential service,” what to do if your program is under threat because of the outbreak, FAQs about transitioning your student newsroom to remote work and more.
Legal questions should be directed toward SPLC’s legal hotline. Ask SPLC questions will be selected based on trends in the legal hotline. The legal hotline is confidential and no identifying information will be used in the Ask SPLC segment.