A panel of journalists, editors and media lawyers urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on July 20 to pass the Free Flow of Information Act, introduced in the spring by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) The panel testified that the law was needed to protect other journalists from what happened to Miller.
Omar Vega, a sophomore journalism major, has been at the center of a conflict with the university and San Francisco police that started after Vega took pictures of students allegedly breaking into a car and stealing some of its contents.
In July 2003, Amanda Farahany, an attorney representing an alleged rape victim, filed the lawsuit. She was initially successful in her quest for the records when a superior court judge in February 2004 ruled that the department and its records were public.
State Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios (D-Cambridge) and Rep. Alice K. Wolf (D-Cambridge) introduced similar measures in the state Senate and House that would open records produced by special state police officers employed by educational institutions and hospitals.
In April, Salem agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to the U.S. Department of Education for Clery Act violations that occurred from 1997 to 1999. These violations included the failure to report five forcible sex offenses and three robberies, and the failure to issue timely reports about threats on campus.
These obstacles can delay or prevent the public from obtaining information that could protect students from violent crime, potential health hazards or simply learning how state money is being used.
It's a question both sides think they know the answer to and one both sides hope the state's supreme court will take up soon: Are the names of individual donors to public university foundations public under the state open records law?
East Bakersfield Principal John Gibson viewed the spread intended to run in the April issue of the Kernal the night before it was to sent to the printer. The next day the student editors were called in to speak with school officials, who convinced them to run the spread without revealing the identities of the gay and transgendered students who had been interviewed for the piece. Later that night Gibson ordered the entire piece removed out of what he described as a concern for the safety of the students in the article, Kernal adviser Randy Hamm said.
Administrators fired Ann Long from her position as editor of the Oracle because she did not receive parental consent before talking to students about their sexuality for an article that ran in December 2004.
Allegations of sexual assault and drug and alcohol abuse during football recruitment plagued the University of Colorado last year, leading lawmakers and state officials to eye the University of Colorado Foundation, which held key documents that would indicate how some funding for recruitment was spent.