09/17/2010 12:31 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Southwestern College Bars Student Paper From Printing

Southwestern Community College in San Diego has stopped the school's student paper, the award-winning Southwestern College Sun, from publishing in print -- and the paper's students and staff say it's due to their content.

Southwestern spokesperson Chris Bender told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the paper's publication was halted because it was "in violation of a campus purchasing policy requiring administrative approval for printing costs" and that the paper could begin printing again when its costs were approved.

But the Sun's staffers and adviser aren't buying this explanation. They allege that the college is using printing violations as an excuse to prevent the paper from publishing before a major school board election, to take place on Nov. 2.

The Sun's adviser, Max Branscomb, told to the Chronicle, "We've been told we can't publish before the election...It's outrageous, it's inexcusable, and it's flimsy."

According to Sign on San Diego, the policy enacted by the school's administration has not been brought up for "at least 15 years."

Nevertheless, Southwestern's administration asserts that the two issues are unrelated. In a statement to Sign On San Diego, Bender said, "They can still publish their information. They have an online presence, a robust one. They control it. They can publish anything they want, any time they want."

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