Student newspapers hidden during Accepted Student Open House
A University at Albany tour guide urged other guides to remove copies of the Albany Student Press from newsstands in the Lecture Centers because of a headline detailing a sharp increase in reported sexual assaults, according to a group chat obtained by the ASP.
The papers were allegedly removed by university tour guides so that they wouldn’t be in the Lecture Centers during the Accepted Student Open House, which is on April 16 and 17.
“Hi team!” said a copy of a tour guide group message obtained by the Albany Student Press. “If anyone is in the LCs today and sees the ASP that says something about assault. Please remove them. Grab a stack and recycle them. I felt horrible doing it but it’s just not something we want to welcome our families with this weekend.”
The headline in question, which read “Sexual assault reports up 200 percent at UAlbany” was from the April 5 issue. The story focused on the fact that the reports are increasing because there are now more ways for students on campus to report and get help regarding sexual assault, such as the University Advocacy Center.
“A member of the University Undergraduate Admissions staff made an unfortunate decision to remove copies of the Albany Student Press from certain distribution points across campus in an effort to hide from visitors the contents of an article on campus sexual assault. The decision was an inappropriate judgment call, and inconsistent with our values as a University. The free and open exchange of data and ideas is a principle on which we, and all universities, stand. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the ASP, our students who are honing their journalistic skills, and its readers for this lapse of judgment. Moreover, the ASP article on the increase in reporting of sexual assault on campus, using data provided by the University, was accurate and fairly reported. As stated by our Title IX Coordinator Chantelle Cleary in the article, we are proud of our ongoing institutional efforts to provide a safe and supportive environment that encourages students to report this crime,” UAlbany Provost James R. Stellar said in a statement.
University Admissions officials did not respond to phone calls or emails. No tour guides responded to requests for comment.
This story will be updated as it develops.