University of Florida orders removal of student newspaper racks

'Independent Florida Alligator' racks to be replaced by UF-owned racks

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Florida has ordered the "Independent Florida Alligator," the student-run newspaper, to remove 19 newspaper racks from campus.

The Gainesville Sun reports university officials have given the Independent Florida Alligator an Aug. 15 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.

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