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Hold the press Ernesto Lopez | Fri, Sep 17 2010 04:00 PM

The Southwestern College student newspaper, The Sun, was hit with a demand recently from school administration to stop production of their print edition stating they are out of compliance with printer selection policies established in 1990 to protect taxpayer dollars.

Chris Bender, the college's chief marketing, communication, community and governmental relations officer, said newspaper faculty adviser Max Branscomb was informed weeks ago of the need for The Sun to come into compliance with the policy.

In a follow up e-mail on Sept. 15, Donna Arnold, dean of school of arts and communication, reminded Branscomb to comply with the printing policy or there could be consequences.

"As per our conversation..., please be advised that the printing of The Sun newspaper may have ramifications," Arnold said in the e-mail.

Bender said the policy was established to keep the student newspaper accountable in collecting different printer bids and, with administration consent, select the most affordable option that meets publication standards.

Section C.4 of the student newspaper policy says, "Final selection of a printer will be in accordance with standard college procedure for all bids ... and in accordance with the business department."

"The issue is not freedom of the press, the issue is making sure that people do what is on the books and that we are protecting public dollars," Bender said. "Plus we have to be smart with the money we have, because we have no resources coming from the state."

The Sun's current editor-in-chief, Diane Inocencio, said the publication has used its current printer for the past 10 years and plans to send the newspaper to print despite the administration request against it.

"All of a sudden they want us to adhere to this old policy that has not been enforced for years," Incensio said. "When we got our printer they gave us the lowest cost and offered the highest quality paper."

According to Inocencio, the editorial board plans on seeking private donations to fund printing if school administrators pull their budget.

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