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Freedom of the Campus Press Protected

On August 31, 2007, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich finally signed “The College Campus Press Act,” which had been passed by the state legislature in June by a vote of 112-2 in the House and 57-0 in the Senate. The new law, introduced by Sen. Susan Garrett, declares any student media outlet at a public college to be "a public forum for expression by the student journalists and editors" and prohibits school officials from using prior review, regardless of whether the publication is sponsored by the school.

The new law was supported by the Illinois AAUP, and will reverse (in Illinois) the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Hosty v. Carter. In that case regarding prior review of the student newspaper by Governors State University officials, the court ruled that college students are different from high school students and do not have any rights to freedom of the press.

The Hosty v. Carter decision sparked outrage from civil liberties groups, and new laws have been passed in California and Oregon to protect freedom of the student press.

For more information about the Hosty v. Carter case, go to www.collegefreedom.org