Texas State student body president starts petition to defund campus newspaper
Racially charged opinion piece prompts heated debate
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Texas State student government president, Connor Clegg, has started a petition to defund the campus newspaper, The University Star.
Word of the petition follows an opinion piece titled “Your DNA is an abomination” was published in the Tuesday issue of The University Star.
The column called for the death of “whiteness” and called President Trump “a white supremacist (who) inhabits the White House.”
The University Star is funded with tuition fees paid by students every semester.
“It is imperative that we take necessary measures to ensure that tuition dollars do not go to fund this behavior,” Clegg wrote in a letter posted to the Texas State Student Government Facebook page.
There have been mixed reviews about the column since its publication.
Some students cite the First Amendment, defending the column's author, Rudy Martinez, and his right to free speech.
Others side with Clegg and think the article is “hate speech” calling for a refund of all fees students paid toward the paper.
There have been other instances of student governments at other institutions of higher learning calling for the defunding of campus newspapers.
The student government at the University of California at San Diego voted to cease any funding of student media in November 2015, according to InsideHigherEd.com.
Additionally, a group of students at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, voted unanimously to cut funding to the university’s newspaper in October 2015 after it published an article titled “Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think,” according to TheBlaze.com.
Texas State has been rocked in recent months by several controversies, including the death of a student after an off-campus fraternity party and the placement of flyers advocating white supremacy on campus.
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