A Canadian student union is trying to make the school paper relocate to a basement

Student Press Law Center

The Imprint, an independent newspaper at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, may be getting kicked out of its office, Madeline Will reported Wednesday for Student Press Law Center.

The Imprint, the University of Waterloo’s independent newspaper, received a notice of lease termination at the beginning of May, with no warning or previous discussion, said Megan Nourse, a board member of Imprint Publications and a former student journalist at the paper.

The paper tried to negotiate a new lease, she said, but the student union, known as the Federation of Students (or Feds), offered the paper a space that’s about half the size of its current office in a less-visible basement. Other potential options the Feds had offered included eviction from the student union or an increase in rent of more than 70 percent, according to a letter from the Imprint board of directors.

Will reports that staff at the newspaper believe the issue between the newspaper and the student union stems from negative coverage of the student union. Tensions between student newspapers and the communities those publications cover frequently make news. Those tensions show themselves through theft, vandalism and sometimes even a halt in publication.

Last week, SPLC reported on student journalists in Iowa who have successfully crowdfunded an independent publication after filing a lawsuit against the school.

Several stories by Calumet staff members — one about broken door handles around campus, another about a conflict of interest on the student-of-the-month contest committee — prompted strong reactions from MCC administrators and faculty. In the lawsuit, filed in federal district court on May 5, 12 current and former members of the Calumet allege that the college’s response to these articles included removing the faculty adviser, Jim Compton, and replacing him with a part-time adjunct, modifying the fall 2015 schedule to marginalize the journalism program, and reducing funding for the program. The plaintiffs have an evidentiary hearing on July 14, Mason said.

The first edition of the new publication, Spotlight News, first issue came out this week.

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