Student cited with theft for taping Gore

WASHINGTON, D.C. ' A battle over intellectual property is brewing at American University after a student was charged with violating several disciplinary codes for videotaping an on-campus speech by Tipper Gore, wife of former presidential candidate Al Gore.

Ben Wetmore, then a junior at American, was charged with seven disciplinary code violations after he videotaped Gore's speech in April, then refused to hand the tape over to university officials.

Free-speech zones frustrate students

Free-speech zone policies have come under fire at two universities this spring, and national civil rights organizations including The Rutherford Institute and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are taking notice.

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\n The Rutherford Institute filed a complaint against West Virginia University in federal court on behalf of students at the school, claiming their First Amendment rights had been violated.

Papers demand crime records

Red tape is not what is standing in their way. On college and university campuses, the thick black lines that redact key crime details on campus security reports are the newest information barrier for student journalists.

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\n Whether it is legitimate confusion about federal reporting procedures or intentional omission to preserve the image of the school, reporters are finding that institutions of higher education are reluctant to release campus crime information to journalists.

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\n Editors of the Branding Iron are considering suing the University of Wyoming for withholding the details of two on-campus sexual assaults.

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\n The staff is seeking the release of locations and witness names under the state open-records law after limited information was released on April 5.

Editor seeks changes for media board

NORTH CAROLINA ' The press is often referred to as the Fourth Estate, separate from government and a watchdog for the benefit of readers.

Joe Wilbur, executive editor of The Carolinian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, says school officials are obstructing the guardian role the newspaper plays.

Wilbur said if the college has its way, the paper will return to the role it used to play ' that of a public relations tool.