University of West Georgia: Student Newspaper’s Funding Cut on Basis of Content

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of West Georgia

  • SGA-West Georgian conflict resolved

    August 19, 2009

    By Samantha Godwin at The West Georgian As Former Editor-in-Chief, Ellis Smith, and SGA President, Alan Webster, laughed and conversed with one another near The West Georgian table at Summer Orientation on June 26, the arduous, heated debate over newspaper funding finally seemed to reach a close. Following The West Georgian’s publication of “Join a Frat with Buck Futter, Jr.,” by Jacob Lovell, a satire on Greek organizations, the SGA passed a bill that eliminated all newspaper funding and sparked over two months of Freedom of Speech debates. After negotiations with the Student Activity Fee General Guidelines (SAFBA), letters to President […]

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  • ‘West Georgian’ Reports on FIRE Victory for Freedom of the Press

    August 20, 2009

    Samantha Godwin of The West Georgian (at the University of West Georgia ) reported yesterday on FIRE’s victory for the newspaper’s First Amendment rights. Earlier this summer, FIRE successfully challenged the unconstitutional cut of the paper’s annual funding allocation on the basis of the paper’s content, as well as the student government’s attempt to freeze the paper’s assets in the wake of controversial news and opinion pieces that had targeted fraternities and the student government itself.  After FIRE intervened, an investigation found that the allocation decision indeed had been based partly on content. A new review resulted not only in the restoration of all of the paper’s […]

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  • University of West Georgia Blames Students, Tries to Snatch Defeat from Jaws of Victory

    July 17, 2009

    First, the good news. FIRE reported on Tuesday that the University of West Georgia (UWG) had not only restored but increased the funding of its controversial student newspaper, The West Georgian, after agreeing that the university’s finance committee had made its decision partly on the basis of unconstitutional considerations of the newspaper’s content. Indeed, one of the more pleasant letters FIRE has received from university counsel was the one we received from University General Counsel E. Jane Simpson. The university agreed with FIRE’s analysis of the situation, promised to investigate, and asked the finance committee to reconsider. The proof’s in […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of West Georgia: FIRE Turns Content-Based Newspaper Censorship into Funding Increase

    July 15, 2009

    In yesterday’s press release, FIRE reports that after subjecting it to multiple content-based retaliatory actions, including budget cuts and a proposed suspension of funding, The University of West Georgia (UWG) has restored and increased funding to its student newspaper, The West Georgian. UWG thus has reaffirmed the university’s commitment to free speech and freedom of the press. After FIRE intervened on the paper’s behalf, The West Georgian not only saw its funding restored but also received $3,600 of new funds it had requested for the coming academic year. The West Georgian, like many campus clubs, has traditionally been funded in […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of West Georgia: FIRE Turns Content-Based Newspaper Censorship into Funding Increase

    July 14, 2009

    ATLANTA, July 14, 2009—The University of West Georgia’s (UWG’s) finance committee has restored and increased funding to UWG’s student newspaper after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) challenged its unconstitutional funding cut and the student government’s attempt to freeze the assets of The West Georgian. The newspaper had criticized corruption in the student government and printed a satire of fraternity life. After FIRE intervened on the paper’s behalf, The West Georgian not only saw its funding restored but also received $3,600 of new funding. “The University of West Georgia should be commended for quickly correcting its error,” FIRE […]

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