Five days after an ad for a local gentleman’s club appeared on the back page of the Feb. 2, 2000 issue of The Hudsonian, the Student Senate shut the paper down.
In their Feb. 7 meeting, the student government again requested that the school newspaper break their contract with the club owner to reprint the ad in the Feb. 16 issue.
Citing the Constitution, the paper refused to accede the the demands of the Student Activities Office and the Student Senate to allow them to assume editorial control of the paper’s content.
Seemingly unimpressed by the First Amendment’s specific protection of the press’ right to Free Speech, Student Senate President Dean Plakas ended discussion with the observation that it didn’t matter. Since our paper’s adviser had resigned , he placed The Hudsonian in limbo, saying that school rules require a faculty adviser for a club to operate.
He said that the Student Activities Office would serve as ex-officio advisers if The Hudsonian reneged on their ad agreement but, otherwise the paper would remain closed.
Discussions continue regarding the proper role of administration officials in dealing with student publications to preclude a recurrence and possible litigation.
Thanks to public scrutiny by local media that began with Andy Brownstein’s article in The Times Union and was picked up by TV, radio and other print media — we are back in operation.