A student government attempt to financially punish the campus newspaper at the University of California, Santa Barbara was vetoed by the student body president.
The Associated Students Legislative Council voted 13-5 to withhold money from The Daily Nexus because advertising space was sold to a company considered politically offensive by some council members.
But council president Jared Goldschen vetoed his colleagues’ decision, explaining two lawyers told him the student council’s vote was possibly illegal. Goldschen said he was troubled by freedom of speech issues.
Money from student fees – about $17,000 a quarter – augments the budget of The Daily Nexus.
Still, a two-thirds student council vote Wednesday could overturn Goldschen’s veto.
The issue surrounds Conquest Housing, which evicted about 55 low-income tenants before embarking on a massive remodel that will result in higher rent prices. The council passed a resolution last fall stating student funding would be pulled from any entity that did business with Conquest.
Conquest Housing later paid The Daily Nexus about $20,000 for a full-page, color ad promoting the newly refurbished units, which will open in August, editor-in-chief Kaitlin Pike said. It will run for about a month, she said.
Pike said she appreciated Goldschen’s veto, and she warned about overriding the action.
“I am 100 percent sure it’s completely illegal,” she said. “If they want a lawsuit, it’s a lawsuit they are going to lose, and they are going to lose very sorely and look very foolish.”