University of California at San Diego: Censorship of Student Satire Magazine


University of California, San Diego

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) announced that it had dropped its charge of "disruption" against a student humor publication, The Koala. The Koala faced charges after publishing satirical photos of a student member of a campus Chicano organization. FIRE wrote UCSD to remind it of a 1995 case when another UCSD student publication, Voz Fronteriza, celebrated the death of a Latino Immigration and Naturalization Service officer and called for the murder of other such "race traitors." In that case, UCSD-including Vice Chancellor Joseph W. Watson, whose office oversaw this year's trial of The Koala-vigorously affirmed Voz Fronteriza's "right to publish their views without adverse administrative action," because "student newspapers are protected by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution." The charges against The Koala were dropped shortly after FIRE brought the case public. This case is a reminder that public universities cannot censor student papers and/or apply double standards.