D.C. university asks police to zip their lips

The confidentiality agreement asks officers to refuse to discuss or disseminate “all records related to University business or University personnel, whether received, disseminated, generated, or maintained by the Department …” Among the records officers are not to release are incident reports and personnel rosters, the agreement states.

Colleges adopt new policies on free speech

The nation’s largest association of student judicial administrators voted in March to protect students’ First Amendment rights to free speech as three universities this spring adopted new student speech policies intended to loosen restrictions on what students can say and where they can say it.

Okla. university settles lawsuit over funding for Christian paper

Ricky Thomas and James Wickett were denied funding for The Beacon OU, their newspaper that provides ''news from or with a Christian perspective,'' because a school policy prohibited the use of student fees for ''religious services.'' The students claim the policy was enforced when the student government, which allocates student fees, considered their request for funding.

How to gain access to private university police records

If you are a student journalist at a private college or university and want access to campus police records beyond basic log information, you must first determine if the campus police have law enforcement authority. If so, the campus police might be subject to your state’s open-records law. Each state’s open-records law is different, so you must research the relationship between your campus police and state law.

Six college papers fall victim to thieves

When free student newspapers are stolen on university campuses, campus and city police often do not believe it is a crime because they say there is no law under which to prosecute the theft. This spring, six student newspapers experienced that questionable line of thinking first hand. 

Thirty years later, SPLC still working to help

This fall, the Student Press Law Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary. For those not familiar with the SPLC's origins, the story of how an organization devoted to defending the student media and educating young journalists about their free-press and freedom-of-information rights came into existence and continues to serve after three decades is an interesting one.

The beginning of the SPLC is most directly attributed to a group formed in 1973 to examine the state of youth media.