The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, February 28, 2004

Sex in the City finished: for the students of Flagstaff, it never started

Well, it wouldn't have if John D Haeger, President of the Northern Arizona University had his druthers:

On February 12, just in time for Valentine's Day, student Claire Fuller penned a brief how-to guide on oral sex in The Lumberjack, the student rag.

On February 26, the site put up a note from Haeger, copied from the NAU site, decrying Fuller's piece in terms that seem to be channelling a mixture of Kyle's Mom and The Music Man's Harold Hill (You Got Trouble):
On February 12, 2004, The Lumberjack published an article graphically and explicitly describing sex acts. I am personally appalled at the lack of responsibility shown in the publication of this article.

American universities have long valued the freedom student journalists hold to write without censorship. But writing without censorship cannot be equated with writing irresponsibly without regard for the values and interests of the entire community they serve. In this case, The Lumberjack's reading audience includes university students, faculty and staff but also includes citizens, including children, of Flagstaff and the larger Arizona community...

What, precisely, went on at NAU in the intervening fortnight is not disclosed. People making all kinds of new friends? I gather it gets chilly of a night up there this time of year...

Ahem! Now, I gather that NAU is a public university, and therefore the First Amendment applies. Notwithstanding, according to the Arizona Republic (February 25), the NAU's publication board is meeting on March 5 to review the situation.

Provost Liz Grobsmith is quoted as saying
the Lumberjack has become a laughingstock.

(Wrong answer, I think she'll find.)

It also quotes the faculty adviser on Claire Fuller's piece (emphasis mine, I'm afraid):
I read it quickly on deadline and had mentioned that I was not completely comfortable with it. But it didn't rise to the level of obscenity, whereby I would have taken a much more aggressive role.

The man's name: Rob Breeding! (I reckon there's a riff to be worked about most of the names...but I won't go there.)

Plenty of fools about in Flagstaff, and we're nowhere near April...

[Via the impeccably wholesome Romenesko]

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