University of California, Davis: Administrator-Appointed Board Holds Power Over Student Media Content

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of California, Davis

In the early 1970s, the University of California regents declared that they “deplore[d] the frequent use of campus student newspapers as instruments of socio-political advocacy and for the dissemination of lewd and obscene articles and photography.” In response, University of California, Davis created the Media Board, a committee of individuals appointed by the Chancellor, empowered to select student media leaders and evaluate whether outlets “serve the general campus community,” “serve the interests of the students,” and “use propriety and good taste in expression.” These responsibilities unlawfully place power over student media content in the hands of administrators’ appointees. In May 2020, FIRE, joined by the Student Press Law Center, wrote to UC Davis to urge it to abolish the Media Board or amend its responsibilities to strip it of authority over student media content.