Going it alone

A student paper in New Jersey is unable to print its first issue of the semester because the student government that funds the paper freezes its entire budget. Three editors of the student paper at a private university in Illinois resign when officials tell them they cannot publish controversial content without prior approval. A student paper in Colorado is kept in the dark about a media giant's attempt to buy it. All these events happened this year at colleges where the student papers are still under the watchful eye of the university administration.

Despite April spike, theft rate steady

The Student Press Law Center received reports of 13 newspaper thefts from January through April. Six thefts took place in April, including four in one week. But the total number of thefts reported for the school year so far --19 -- is on par with the rate of thefts in recent years. Some student papers were able to reprint and redistribute to make up for what had been lost, but some could not afford to reprint. Five of the largest thefts this year involved more than 2,000 copies of student papers stolen.

Looks like government — open like government?

Twice this year, Student Government Association members at Western Illinois University used secret ballots to vote on important campus issues, an athletic fee increase and implementation of a plus and minus grading system. The SGA had been using the method for some time with seemingly good intentions -- to expedite and simplify the voting process. Little did members know it was potentially illegal and a violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.