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Thursday, April 16, 2009

UWM journalists ask if open record and meeting laws apply to student governments

UW-Milwaukee student journalists met with assistant attorneys general on Wednesday to discuss two incidents in which student government refused to release information and kicked a student news crew out of an event, The Daily Cardinal reported. The 147- page letter presented to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen "argues that under Wisconsin Statute 36.09(5) university student governments have significant governmental authority and therefore should be subject to public records and open meetings laws."

UW-Milwaukee student journalists traveled to the state Capitol Wednesday requesting clarification regarding how Wisconsin’s open record and open meeting laws apply to UW System student governments.

They submitted a 147-page legal interpretation request to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen following several incidents last spring in which the UWM student government allegedly declined to provide records to student media, said Jonathan Anderson, editor-in-chief of the UWM Post.

Anderson recounted two specific incidents, one in which the student government would not release information about a New York trip they took and another in which the student news crew PantherVision was kicked out of an event by an official because he “didn’t like how the news crew was covering the event.”

More here.

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