When a La Salle University professor was suspended after allegedly hiring strippers to perform at an ethics seminar, the student newspaper was the last local medium to report it. But it wasn’t for lack of knowledge.
“We didn’t publish a story because we weren’t allowed,” writes the Collegian staff in an editorial Friday.
University administrators forbade student journalists from initially reporting the story, editors of the Collegian say. Only when media outlets from the Huffington Post to the Philadelphia City Paper reported the story were the journalists-in-training allowed to publish their own report – below the fold.
Perhaps freedom of the press is not part of La Salle’s curriculum.
With a spark of ingenuity, editors of the Collegian took the advice of a professor and followed the administration’s orders to a T: the top of this week’s student newspaper front page was left blank expect for the words, “See below the fold.”
Sure enough, below the fold their report on Jack Rappaport’s stripper symposium was.
Rappaport, known for using "real life applications" in his classes, held a March 21 symposium in which participants paid $150 to attend. The assistant professor of management allegedly hired three strippers, who gave lap dances to Rappaport and to students who agreed to it.
While the administration’s tight control of the newspaper’s actions are frustrating for the student staff, the editorial admits this:
“This begs an explanation and a confession: the La Salle Collegian is not a real newspaper. It is a student newspaper, more specifically, a student newspaper at a private university. As you may infer, the differences are astronomical.”