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Brown ignites in protests over ad

students stealing papers
In this Brown Daily Herald photo, members of a student coalition of seize copies of The Herald from Faunce House on March 16. Nearly 4,000 copies were stolen from locations across the Brown campus.

At Brown University, where the Brown Daily Herald ran the ad on March 13, editors received a petition signed by 350 students to give the ad money to a campus minority organization, and "that the Herald run a full-page rebuttal, written by the protesters," according to the Providence Daily Journal. After editors refused, 5,000 copies of the March 16 edition were taken by the student activists soon after they were delivered to the campus.

Editors ended up hand-distributing 4,000 copies to replace the lost copies, and sought a court injunction against further theft.

On March 21, a university-sponsored panel was convened to address the events surrounding The Herald's decision to print the ad. Ironically, given the nature of the forum, the event was closed to the press, causing one member, a Providence Journal reporter, to drop out in protest.

Still, the paper emerged as the first Ivy League school to print the ad (Princeton followed nearly a month later). In doing so, it won acclaim from many newspapers, including the Boston Phoenix. "The editors at the Brown Daily Herald were not necessarily free-speech heroes for accepting Horowitz's ad -- but they're certainly heroes for defending their right to publish it."
image of diversity forum
In this Brown Daily Herald photo, students filled Alumnae Hall to the balconies March 21 for the University-sponsored forum "Understanding the Issues: Freedom of Speech, Community Values, Race and Civil Discourse." The event was closed to members of the press.

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