Student newspaper sues UF over rack removals

Long-standing racks to be replaced by black modular units

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A student-run newspaper is suing the University of Florida in federal court to stop the removal of orange newspaper racks from campus.

The university has said it plans to remove more than 20 of the Independent Florida Alligator's distinctive racks next week.

The racks would be replaced by black modular units owned by UF.

The Alligator's nonprofit owner filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in Gainesville federal court to challenge the plan on constitutional grounds.

Campus Communications is also seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the rack removal.

Alligator attorney Thomas Julin tells The Gainesville Sun that UF's plans "violate the First Amendment because they give too much discretion."

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes says the newspaper refused to offer alternatives, and the school already delayed enforcing regulations it adopted in 2009.

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