UF mandates removal of newspaper racks
GAINESVILLE - The University of Florida has ordered a student-run newspaper to remove 19 freestanding newspaper racks from campus. The Gainesville Sun reports university officials have given the Independent Florida Alligator an Aug. 15 deadline to remove the signature orange racks. They'll be replaced by black modular units owned by the university. Newspaper officials are concerned the mandate will reduce visibility of the Alligator on campus. They've also raised concerns about free speech and editorial independence. Miami-based attorney Thomas Julin who represents the Alligator says the new policy gives UF "a certain power over the Alligator and other publications" that it didn't have before.University officials say the policy is more about aesthetics, environment and safety issues. The Alligator has distributed the paper in its orange racks since becoming independent in 1973.