Student Group Threatens to Boycott UCSB Paper
A meeting of the UCSB Associated Students Legislative
Council on Wednesday ended in the student government
group looking into a boycott against the school’s student
newspaper, the Daily Nexus. As well, the A.S. council proposed an
audit of the paper’s expenditures, considered freezing the paper’s
funds, and called for the the resignation of certain staff
The Nexus’ Wednesday issue this week featured a full-page color
advertisement for the renovated Coronado
Apartments. The complex gained much notoriety under the
former name, Cedarwood, in the much publicized legal battle
that ensued when the owners, Conquest Student
Housing, evicted tenants living in 55 of the building’s units.
A.S. Off-Campus Representative Jeronimo Saldana
proposed to the Legislative Council a sanctioning of the Nexus for
apparently supporting an institution that, in his words, does not
represent the best interests of UCSB students and I.V. residents.
“I felt insulted. I felt insulted for the families, too,” Saldana
said. Last fall, many members of Associate Students and other
students protested Conquest’s treatment of the now-former
According to Saldana, he approached Daily Nexus
editor-in-chief Kaitlin Pike about pulling the ad,
but Pike refused, claiming that A.S. does not have the authority to
control the paper’s content — whether editorial or ad-related.
Pike, however, said that the common journalistic separation between
a newspaper’s editorial office and advertising department meant
that she did not have the authority to have the ad pulled from
future issues. “I think student government doesn’t respect freedom
of speech,” Pike said, referring to this current dispute and a long
list of others with A.S. that goes back decades into the paper’s
history. “They’re fine when we agree with what they say, but not
when we disagree.”
Saldana said that his complaint against the advertisement is
“not one of authority, but one of morality.” The boycott and the
other actions against the paper will be further discussed at next
Wednesday’s Legislative Council meeting. If the council votes to boycott the free
paper, Saldana said any A.S.-affiliated organizations would be
prohibited from spending money advertising in the paper. Saldana
also said that he was looking into the legality of whether A.S.
could freeze the money the Nexus receives from a quarterly
lock-in fee — $0.85 per student per the three main academic
quarters, plus $0.57 per summer session.
“I feel like I’ve been kicked in the shins, repeatedly,” said
Pike about the statements made at the meeting. Pike claims that
A.S. cannot touch the lock-in fee unless the student body votes to
allow them to do so in a campus-wide election. And Pike says that
the paper is willing to comply with Saldana’s request for an audit.
However, any censoring of the Nexus’ content would be a
violation of a new law that, as of January 1, prohibits any college
administration from censoring its newspaper’s content.
A.S. President Jared Goldschen said that he had
no comment on the matter of boycotting the Nexus, though
he agreed with Saldana’s statement that the paper should not have
run the ad. “It’s a slap in the face to the people who worked so
hard [to protest Conquest], but I also think the newspaper has a
right to run what they want. I just think their smearing themselves
with their own hands.”