It is easier today than ever to trace the decline in regard for student rights, because – thanks to the efforts of Publications Fellow Brian Schraum and intern Sam Tobin – every edition of the Reportmagazine is now viewable online, either through the www.splc.org website or on Issuu.
The most effective schools govern from a place of trust, and the least effective from a place of fear. Nowhere is this clearer than in schools’ approach to the use of technology, where the widening gap between “haves” and “have-nots” is being worsened by policies that lock away access to Gmail, YouTube and other learning resources students use comfortably and safely everywhere except school.
In an age where Facebook and Twitter are the go-to sources for entertainment and socializing, universities nationwide are struggling with how tightly to monitor or restrict their athletes’ online activity.
It’s 9:30 p.m. Journalism adviser Mitch Eden is on Facebook looking at the yearbook staff’s recent photo uploads. He gets a message from the photographer. How can she get the perfect shot? Because of Facebook, Eden is able to offer instant advice to the photographer. The next day she captures a stunning frame.
With efforts to roll back Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier stalled in several states, student press advocates are searching for new strategies. The Report looks back at lessons learned from the past 35 years of Hazelwood.
A visit to the dining hall is a daily part of the college experience for most freshmen. Parents buy a meal plan at the start of each term with the idea that it’s a down payment on food for their eager young scholar. But what new students and their parents may not realize is that much of that money often goes unspent – and in many cases, there are no refunds.
Mike Hiestand is leaving the Student Press Law Center this summer after more than 20 years answering calls for help from student journalists and advisers. He’ll still be helping people tell stories, but he’ll have the chance to take off his attorney hat for a while.
Within limits, students in public schools have a First Amendment right to wear expressive clothing, jewelry and haircuts, and some have successfully sued their schools when forced to change their appearance. But there are no published court rulings addressing whether that right extends to a student’s choice of apparel for a yearbook portrait. And the issue is complicated by the fact that other students’ First Amendment rights – the editors’ – can override the individual students’ stylistic choices.
Private universities across the country are cracking down on their student media advertising policies — a practice that would likely be considered unconstitutional at a public university. Targets are many, from alcohol to off-campus housing, but perhaps most damaging to newspaper revenues is the bar on ads for degree programs at competing schools.
Schools like MIT do have student newspapers, even though most students who attend those schools are hardly there to study journalism. And these “nontraditional” journalists face the same hurdles as those at major J-schools, even if they don’t all dream of reporting jobs after college.