Broward Palm Beach New Times | Student Press Law Center
Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Student Conduct is punishing Dylan Bouscher, the editor-in-chief of the student paper University Press, for reporting from the scene of a suicide on campus. FAU Police say Bouscher “failed to comply with multiple requests or orders of law enforcement officers and interfered with an active investigation and crime scene.”
Bouscher “had been driving the newspaper’s golf cart near the site of a suicide on campus last month,” Samantha Sunne writes, “and had hung around trying to get information and photos for his story until an officer yelled at him to leave.”
The journalist “is quite familiar with FAU campus police, having overseen his paper’s ten-months-long investigation of the force that resulted in a September 17 issue headlined ‘Campus Insecurity,’” New Times reports.
The paper criticized the force for lack of transparency. Asked if he felt the sanctions were a form of retaliation, Bouscher told New Times “it’s a fair assumption.”
University Press adviser Michael Koretzky tells Sunne “FAU has a history of ‘intimidating’ students into accepting disciplinary charges.”
“Dylan is not the first, second, third or fourth student brought up on student conduct charges this year for speech-related issues,” Koretzky said. He gave an example of students who faced charges for holding a protest, even though they had left when police had asked them to do so.
Bouscher will do community service and be on probation for a year; he’ll have to take a class about “ethics in decision-making” for which he must pay a $100 fee. “He was left free to continue to serve as editor of the paper,” New Times reports. I couldn’t find a story about Bouscher’s hearing on the University Press site, but it recently published a guide to students’ rights when confronted by campus police.