Wesleyan University: Student Newspaper Threatened with Funding Cuts after Controversial Op-Ed

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Wesleyan University

After sparking a backlash by publishing a student op-ed critical of the Black Lives Matter movement in September 2015, The Wesleyan Argus was met with a petition from Wesleyan students demanding that the newspaper lose its funding. The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) subsequently approved a resolution that proposed redistributing the Argus’ $17,000 print budget between student publications at Wesleyan partially based on the popularity of the publications among the student body, putting student media at Wesleyan at risk of viewpoint-discriminatory funding. In multiple letters sent to the WSA, Wesleyan president Michael Roth, and Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, FIRE called on the WSA and the university to ensure that student media funding would be allocated in a viewpoint-neutral manner and that the Argus would not face censorship for its reporting. In April 2016, the WSA voted to create the Media Publications Fund Committee, a group meant to exist outside the control of the WSA that would allocate funding to student media, with the intention of alleviating concerns that student press could be punished by the WSA.

There is currently no media coverage for this case.
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    January 18, 2017

    No news is good news, if you’re The Wesleyan Argus. That’s the takeaway from a story in the Columbia Journalism Review that looks back on the censorship battles over the last two years at Wesleyan University, a private liberal arts college in Connecticut. Titled “Reporters flocked to a campus controversy but missed its surprising conclusion,” the CJR piece gets everything right—except the assertion that there’s a “conclusion.” Readers can find an exhaustive review of the fight over the Argus in our earlier coverage, but here’s a brief version: A September 2015 opinion piece in the Argus questioning the tactics of […]

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