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By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 01/20/15, 5:36 PM PST | Updated: 25 secs ago

REDLANDS>> Staff, students and supporters of the University of Redlands’ Bulldog Weekly newspaper gathered on the steps of the administration building Tuesday to make their voices heard over the decision last month to put the paper on hiatus.

“It’s really necessary that we’re here. It’s necessary that we all talk about accountability from the administration,” said Taylor Holmes, co-editor-in-chief of the Bulldog Weekly, to the nearly 200 protesters.

The Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR) Cabinet voted to place the student-run newspaper on hiatus as of Dec. 10—leaving the paid student staff without jobs—based on concerns “regarding journalistic ethics, accurate reporting, student representation, the advisory structure of the paper and the fact that nearly $40,000 in student activity fees are spent yearly on a newspaper with a low readership,” according to an email sent to students Tuesday by the ASUR Student Government.

The vote came after a story ran in the Nov. 10 issue on a $35 million scholarship donation from the Hunsaker family, which quoted a student saying the fund was for “rich, white males.”

A committee of students, administrators and faculty has since been formed to review the newspapers’ practices and structure. They hold their first meeting on Friday.

“I recognized the paper isn’t perfect. I recognize it needs improvement,” said Morgan York, co-editor-in-chief of the Bulldog Weekly. “I’m glad this committee wants to make improvements with us. I really hope they want to communicate with us, but putting the paper on hiatus was poor decision-making. It felt punitive. It felt like, ‘OK you’re not up to our standards, so we’re going to shut you down.’”

Students in the ASUR Cabinet, which is considered the publisher of the newspaper and controls its funding, voted 13-2 to place the paper on hiatus until a committee could review their concerns.

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