NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Dear Villanovan staff,
I am writing to you as a representative of the Loyola College Greyhound, our student newspaper. Currently, we are in “talks” with our administration about what sort of crime records we are allowed to receive from them as our campus police are deputized under the Special Annodated Code of Maryland and are able to make arrests. We reached an agreement yesterday that we are at least entitled to what the Clery Act includes, although one administrator made a footnote that pending investigations will not be in the daily crime log. We disagreed with this.
Our argument overall is that because campus police have full police authority on the Loyola Campus and surrounding areas, this in turn makes them agents of the state and under review by the public because of the Freedom of Information Act. The administration says that these law enforment records though made by law enforcement personnel are not used for law enforcement purposes and therefore are protected in the students educational rights. The Campus Police wear “two hats;” sometimes they are administrators, sometimes police. In addition, the argument that campus crime records were protected by Ferpa was also brought up numerous times. What we’ve come to understand from the Student Press Law Center and a bit of research that we’ve done so far is that these points are ridiculous.
In addition, the administration noted that they were concerned that any reporting that we do in advance to a student’s campus trial would jeopardize the inpartiality of the deciding jury. Loyola is a school made up of about 3000-4000 undergraduates, and the administration said that the paper touches almost of the students, faculty, and administrators on campus.
In addition to our attempt to get these records, we must also consider our current status as a paper somewhat dependant on our college. Though we pay for printing, staff, and equipment through our ad and subscription income. The college does provide us with a free office with electricity, internet, and phones. We use primarily Loyola furniture in the office, and our subscriptions are mailed out by college paid work studies.
We have received a helpful letter detailing our rights from the Student Press Law Center and are considering writing a story about our attempts. The administration asked us what sort of crime information do our peer institurions receive, what sort of campus police forces do they have, and how independent are their newspapers. So I am asking for your help in this matter. Please let us know where your campus newspapers stand in terms of their campus crime records, and if you know any sort of court case that would give us a better understanding of where this disagreement stands on national basis, we would sincerly appreciate it.
Thank you again-Christina SantucciManaging Editor for the Greyhound(410) 617-2282 office(917) 292-7431 [email protected]