Administrators at Valley College said Wednesday that the student newspaper will publish a special semester-ending issue next week, despite a dispute between the paper's staff and faculty advisor that led to cancellation of the last two regular issues.
Faculty advisor Joan Stuller and administrators said the plan was the idea of students eager to publish. "I just got the students together and asked them what they wanted to do," she said.
But some Valley Star staff members said Stuller organized the special edition after a newspaper story appeared on the dispute, hoping that publication will minimize embarrassment to the school.
"It's pretty much forced," said one student working on the newspaper, who asked not to be identified.
"I have to do it whether I want to or not," the student said, explaining that the newspaper is written for a class for which students receive grades. But some students have dropped the class and other staff members are not participating, the student said.
Stuller, however, said that she was under no pressure from college administrators. "Nothing was put to me in that way," she said. "Nobody put any pressure on me to do anything."
A semester-long conflict between Stuller and students, which included her twice calling campus police to remove student staffers from her classroom, peaked with Stuller canceling the paper's regular editions last Thursday and today--the first such occurrence in the paper's history of more than 40 years.
Editor Shawn Bush and other editors and staff writers have accused Stuller of interfering with their management of the paper and of behaving erratically, such as in her summoning of police. She denied interfering, but said she called campus police partly because students were not obeying her directives.
Meanwhile, a 28-year journalism instructor at the college, Roger Graham, publicly sided with the students Wednesday, saying that after taking the newspaper job this fall, Stuller "started fixing things that weren't broken."
"I think the students have had just cause to complain," Graham said. "You don't throw your students out and call the police. It's just not done."