Lane Community College: Student Newspaper Funding Reduced Because of Content


Lane Community College

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In March 2021, after discussing dissatisfaction with content in student newspaper The Torch, the Student Activity Fee Committee at Lane Community College voted to reduce funding for the publication by more than $5,000, depending on enrollment — a reduction later slightly reduced. This recommendation was subsequently affirmed by the Lane Board of Education. On July 1, 2021, FIRE wrote to the Board asserting that, under the First Amendment, a college may not reduce funding for a student publication because of disagreement with its content, and urging the college to reinstate The Torch’s traditional allocation. Lane’s Board of Education chairwoman responded the same day, stating she would speak with the Lane president regarding “investigating these concerns.” After FIRE’s letter, the college provided funding that matched The Torch’s request.