Judicial Board rules in favor of Student Media


ASWSU members and Student Media representatives attended the Geiger and Swanson v. Student Media hearing in Todd 404 Monday.

From staff reports

The ASWSU Judicial Board ruled Student Media did not violate any terms of a referendum the Senate passed.

Earlier this month, ASWSU president Kyle Geiger and Pro Tempore Crystal Swanson each filed an election violation allegation against Student Media, citing the breaking of a third clause added to the referendum during the meeting in which it was passed. The clause requested all marketing materials from Student Media be reviewed and approved with a two-thirds vote from the ASWSU President, Pro-Tempore and a representative from the Election Board. The initiative sought a $4 student fee which was placed on the 2016 ASWSU Presidential Election Ballot.

On March 3 and 4, The Daily Evergreen ran in-house advertisements encouraging the student body to vote in favor of the referendum.

Geiger and Swanson contested these ads based on the referendum’s third clause.

During the Judicial Board hearing on Monday, Daily Evergreen Editor-in-Chief Hannah Street cited the potential unconstitutionality of the third clause, referring to the language as being a form of prior review, which violates the Constitution’s protections of the freedom of press. Street also denied any responsibility for adhering to the clause, questioning the referendum and Senate meeting’s lack of any official agreement from Student Media representatives to waive Student Media’s rights protecting it from prior review.

The court’s opinion is Student Media is not covered by the referendum and therefore did not violate it. The referendum itself was not officially agreed upon by anyone representing Student Media and while the third clause established the two-thirds vote, it was only signed by Geiger and Swanson.

In its decision, the court stated the wording and nature of such a document falls under the responsibility of the Senate and since Student Media was not explicitly included in the referendum, they are not responsible for the referendum or its clauses.

Reporting by Matthew Brunstetter