has confiscated all copies of the student-run
newspaper. The 1st Amendment doesn't cover private
colleges, but I've got a plan...
college administrator scurrying around confiscating
at some tin-horn, second-rate school, either.
time it is at elite Lynchburg
a blue-blood, blue-chip -- $28,665 for tuition,
fees, room and board -- liberal arts school ranked
among the best small private schools in America.
on to that word, "private." We’ll come
back to that.)
to a News and Advance story by Amy Coutee,
Dean of Students John Eccles has decreed that all
copies of the Lynchburg Current, an
independent, student-produced newspaper, be
confiscated and sent to recycling until such time as
the paper gets permission from the school
administration to exist.
founder of the paper, student editor Rich Danker
says nothin’ doin’.
Says he’s not going to get permission.
Says he’s gonna keep publishing.
side thought here: Wouldn’t
you think that most college administrators would
send up prayers every night, hoping kids like Danker
and his staff of 12 show up on enrollment day?)
certainly support this endeavor, but you’ve got to
be approved,” Eccles told the News and Advance.
How does that square with that little
document that begins with "Congress shall make
chat with Robert O’Neil can be an illuminating
university professor, professor of law, director,
for the Protection of Free Expression at the University
and a former president of UVA, can parse stuff like
this to micro-thinness.
that word "private." Private schools can do this.
is a private school.
can be as ham-handed as it wants to be.
they block distribution of other publications…
say… for example, the News and Advance?
that’s hard to say.
Getting Eccles on the phone is a little like
getting a Taliban warlord on the line.
at the college alerted "Betty," a nice
lady who “handles” the press — but who
happened to be at home on her day off — who called
me with a nice offer to “plan and coordinate”
any future conversation I might have with Eccles.
what I do. I
plan and coordinate with the press.
There’s nothing to "plan" or
Just tell him to call me.
But this is how we do it.
did reach Associate Vice President for College
Relations, Steve Arnold.
Could the school block distribution of the
paper if it came in by U.S. Mail?
haven’t even considered that scenario and could
not speak knowledgeably to it.”
guy, though. Good
to O’Neil and this access, this control, issue.
Hypothetically, could the Lynchburg College
folks jam television and radio signals coming onto
the property without permission?
Might be a little FCC problem there.
Control phone and broadband access?
now I’m thinking... and string razor wire, and put
up klieg lights, and walk the perimeter with German
hey, I don’t mean anything by that.
It’s just the way I think.)
Mr. Robert O’Neil, world authority on stuff like
this, what would happen if that rogue newspaper gang
purchased a bulk U.S. Mail permit and bulk-mailed
their paper, dropped a copy of the Lynchburg
Current to every box address on the Lynchburg
that law-and-order crowd stop it?
is the briefest of brief pauses.
“I’m certain there’s a federal statute
that protects mail at least until it’s in the
hands of the addressee.”
you have it, kids. Let
me know. I’ll
help you raise the money.
October 18, 2004