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May 022004
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

By:

Christopher J. Ortiz

Shandra Jordan

Colleen Buhrer

When a newspaper editor from the University of Northern Colorado

student newspaper approached the student government about the

illegality of voting in executive session and having illegal closed

meetings on public issues, a member of the student government

responded with: “The lawyers can deal with it.”

Apparently, the lawyers are.

A Denver Post article reports that the student newspaper at the

University of Northern Colorado filed suit in Weld County accusing

the student government of having illegal closed meetings on public

issues.

The Post reports that the newspaper alleges that the Student

Representative Council has violated Colorado’s open meetings law,

otherwise know as the “Sunshine Law.”

The courts will decide if there was any wrongdoing on the behalf

of the UNC student government but from our perspective the editors

have ample grounds to question their practices and file the

lawsuits.

The article reports that the student government allegedly voted

in a closed session on candidates for vice president for clubs and

organizations and that it went allegedly into executive session to

discuss how to handle the arrest of its vice president of

legislative affairs, both of which violate Colorado’s open meeting

laws.

Every time a newspaper pushes a student government to abide by

state open meetings laws, which apply only to government bodies,

the question is raised as to whether or not student government

should have to abide by these laws. We think the answer is

unequivocally yes.

The editorial board does not know if the student government

there has in fact violated any state laws or if they in fact voted

on public issues in private executive sessions but we applaud the

editors at the UNC paper for doing what all reporters and

journalists should be doing: protecting the public’s interest and

watching over governmental bodies.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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