Syracuse University is a school known for its media education—it's a breeding ground for young journalists. And the student media at Syracuse has one of the better reputations in the United States. But recently, if you wanted to go to a cafeteria, grab some food, and peruse the latest edition of any student publication other than the campus newspaper, you had to bring one with you.
Syracuse President Nancy Cantor reversed a long-standing policy banning the distribution of student publications other than the Daily Orange, which was already offered in cafeterias and on-campus eateries, the Daily Orange reports. Cantor made the decision after meeting with Lorraine Branham, the dean of Syracuse's S. I. Newhouse School of Communications. The policy came to light recently when food services told a student magazine staff that it could not distribute copies of its publication freely in any dining areas on campus. One cafeteria manager told Jerk magazine staffers that they couldn't hand out issues because of the magazine's content. Branham told Cantor that the policy violated free speech.
"It was clear that it was a policy that wasn't being enforced for years," Branham tells the Daily Orange. "This policy was unwritten, unknown, and the magazine had distributed [in dining centers] for years. If you actually thought about it, it made no sense. Someone was suddenly making it a problem because of something they saw in the magazine."
The policy wasn't exactly a known entity, the report says. None of the administrators involved in meeting with Jerk editors and food services knew about the ban. And when they found out about it, administrators happily repealed it.
"The magazine is elated," Melissa Chessher, faculty adviser for Jerk, said. "It's the perfect solution. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was baffled by the whole thing."