UT Dallas Policy Navigator

Student Media - UTDSP5007

Policy Statement

Subchapter A: General Provisions

Section 54.01: Purpose

This chapter contains guidelines for the administration and operation of student media designed specifically for campus communication.

Section 54.02: Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning,

  1. "dean" means the Dean of Students or designee;
  2. "university" means The University of Texas at Dallas;
  3. "vice president" means the Vice President for Student Affairs;
  4. "student" means a person enrolled at the university;
  5. "board" means the student media operating board;
  6. "media adviser" means any adviser to the student newspaper, student radio station, AMP, or student TV station and other media, which may, from time to time, be funded from student fees;
  7. "the student newspaper" or "newspaper" means The Mercury;
  8. "editor-in-chief", "advertising manager", and "managing editor" mean the student editor, the student advertising manager, and the student managing editor of the student newspaper;
  9. "the station" or "station" means Radio UTD;
  10. "station manager" means the student station manager of the student radio station; and
  11. "AMP" means A Modest Proposal.
  12. "TV station" means UTD TV, the student TV station.
  13. "TV president" means the student TV station president of the student TV station.

Subchapter B: Administration and Organization

Section 54.05: Operating Board

  1. The Student Media Operating Board exists to oversee the general operations of the student media at The University of Texas at Dallas, which includes the university's student newspaper, The Mercury; the university's student radio station, Radio UTD; the university's student opinion publication, A Modest Proposal; the university's student TV station, UTD TV; and other student media, which may, from time to time, be funded from student fees.
  2. The board shall conduct its business pursuant to the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, university institutional rules and administrative policies and procedures, and the laws of the State of Texas.
  3. The vice president shall appoint members of the operating board on an annual basis with terms commencing June 1 and ending May 31 of each year.
  4. The operating board shall consist of seven voting members, five students selected from a list of nine students, and two faculty members selected from a list of three nominees recommended by the president of the student body and the dean. At least two of the five students should be graduate students.
  5. Should any member of the board resign or fail to serve, the vice president shall select a successor to fill the unexpired term from a list of three nominees submitted by the president of the student body and the dean.
  6. A position shall be considered vacant if a voting board member is absent for three meetings.
  7. No voting member of the board shall hold a paid staff position with any of the student media the board oversees.
  8. Ex-officio, non-voting members of the board shall include the newspaper editor, the managing editor, the advertising manager, AMP editors, the radio station manager, the TV station president, the media advisers, the dean, an editorial staff person from a local newspaper, and, when possible, a broadcast professional from a local radio or TV station.
  9. If a member of the board is also a volunteer member of a UT Dallas student media organization, he or she shall remove himself or herself from the appeal procedure if there is a conflict of interest.
  10. The dean shall remove himself or herself from the board when an appeal is brought forward to the board as the dean serves as the final step in the appeal process.
  11. The chairperson of the board shall be elected from the membership by the voting members of the board.
  12. Quorum consists of a majority of all filled board positions.

Section 54.06: Media Advisers

  1. The student media shall be advised and managed by a professionally qualified member of the student affairs staff.
  2. The media adviser reports to the dean.

Section 54.07: A Modest Proposal Student Editors

  1. The position of editor of A Modest Proposal shall be held by regularly enrolled students at the university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  2. An editor must have been enrolled and have completed at least one (1) regular semester or one (1) long summer session at the university.
  3. AMP editors each shall be enrolled during a regular semester for a minimum of nine (9) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed fifteen (15) hours on the undergraduate level, or a minimum of six (6) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed twelve (12) hours as graduate students.
  4. An editor must have made a printed article submission, page design, illustration, editing or any substantive (content changing) contribution to at least three separate issues in the current semester he or she is appointed by the board.
  5. The spring term of office for each editor shall be January 1 through the last day of the spring semester. The fall term of office shall begin the first day of the fall semester through December 31. Changes in the terms must be agreed and voted upon by the operating board. NOTE: editors appointed for the fall semester will also have administrative responsibility during the summer but are not required to be enrolled.
  6. An AMP editor may apply to the board for consecutive appointments.
  7. There shall be no more than five (5) editors serving during a term with a recommended minimum of three (3).

Section 54.08: Student Newspaper Editor, Student Managing Editor, and Student Advertising Manager

  1. The positions of editor, managing editor, and advertising manager of the student newspaper shall be held by regularly enrolled students at the University with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. It shall not be possible for the same person to hold two positions.
  2. The editor, managing editor, and advertising manager may not hold other appointments as student employees at the University.
  3. The editor, managing editor, and advertising manager each shall be enrolled during a regular semester for a minimum of nine (9) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed fifteen (15) hours on the undergraduate level, or a minimum of six (6) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed twelve (12) hours as graduate students. Minimum enrollment during the summer is three (3) semester hours.
  4. The editor, managing editor, and advertising manager must have been enrolled and have completed at least one (1) regular semester or one (1) long summer session at the university.
  5. The term of office for each position shall be May 1 through April 30 unless otherwise agreed and voted upon by the operating board.
  6. The editor, managing editor, and advertising manager may apply to the board for consecutive appointments.
  7. The editor and managing editor must have had at least one printed byline in at least four editions of the newspaper in the current semester in which he or she is appointed by the board.

Section 54.09: Student Radio Station Manager

  1. The position of student station manager of the student radio station shall be held by a regularly enrolled student at the University with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  2. The student station manager may not hold another appointment as a student employee at the University.
  3. The student station manager shall be enrolled during a regular semester for a minimum of nine (9) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed fifteen (15) hours on the undergraduate level, or a minimum of six (6) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed twelve (12) hours as graduate students. Minimum enrollment during the summer is three (3) semester hours.
  4. The student station manager must have been enrolled and have completed at least one (1) regular semester or one (1) long semester session at the University. The station manager must have served in a station management position for at least one full semester before he or she can be appointed by the board. Exceptions to this must be voted on and approved by the board.
  5. The term of office for the student station manager shall be May 1 through April 30 unless otherwise agreed and voted upon by the operating board.
  6. The student station manager may apply to the board for consecutive appointments.

Section 54.10: Student TV Station President

  1. The position of student TV station president of the student TV station shall be held by a regularly enrolled student at the University with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  2. The student TV station president shall be enrolled during a regular semester for a minimum of nine (9) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed fifteen (15) hours on the undergraduate level, or a minimum of six (6) hours with a recommended course load not to exceed twelve (12) hours as graduate students.
  3. The student TV station president must have been enrolled and have completed at least one (1) regular semester or one (1) long semester session at the University.
  4. The term of office for the student TV station president shall be May 1 through April 30 unless otherwise agreed and voted upon by the operating board.
  5. The TV station president must have been a contributor during the current semester he or she is appointed by the board. The station president must have served as a writer, editor, camera operator or made an on-air appearance for at least half of the newscasts in the semester in which he or she is appointed by the board.
  6. The student TV station president may apply to the board for consecutive appointments.

Section 54.11: Student Staff Members

  1. Student newspaper staff members - Section editors, reporters, photographers, etc. - shall be recommended by the editor and the media adviser and approved by the dean.
  2. The station programming director and music director shall be recommended by the station manager and the media adviser and approved by the dean.
  3. Such appointments shall be subject to the availability of budgeted wages.
  4. Station DJs shall be recommended by the station manager and programming director and approved by the adviser.
  5. AMP contributors are any non-editors who have assisted in the production of the current publication of AMP through content submission and acceptance, print or digital layout, editing, or in any other supportive role. Contributors are not considered permanent staff.
  6. All contributors to the student newspaper, AMP, the student radio station and the student TV station, both paid and unpaid, must sign a libel and ethics agreement before publishing, assisting, or broadcasting within their respective medium.
  7. The UTD TV vice president for news and vice president for content shall be recommended by the TV president and approved by the media adviser.

Section 54.12: Protection of Editorial Expression

  1. Censure or removal of student staff members by administrators or managers or by the operating board shall be only for proper and stated causes as outlined in Section 54.12. No student editor-in-chief, managing editor, advertising manager, AMP editor, radio station manager or TV station president may be censured or removed by the board without proper notice and an opportunity to refute the charges, and to request a fair and impartial hearing as outlined in Section 54.26.
  2. The student newspaper editors-in-chief, AMP editors, radio station manager and TV president have final authority over what is published or broadcast in their respective mediums. However, the editorial and broadcast freedom of student journalists involves the obligation to avoid libel and slander, the use of obscene material, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and techniques of harassment and innuendo. The aforementioned student leaders must acknowledge acceptance of these responsibilities by signing an agreement with the operating board.
  3. University officials are not permitted to delay distribution of a publication or remove editors or advisers because of student, faculty, administration or public disapproval of content or other editorial decisions.

Section 54.13 Removal From Office

  1. The editor, managing editor, advertising manager, A Modest Proposal editors, student radio station manager, TV president and student staff members/contributors shall be required to carry out their duties of office in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, administrative policies and procedures of the University, the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, and the laws of the State of Texas.
  2. Conduct that may be subject to disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. failure to maintain work performance standards as outlined in the job description and handbook for each publication. These include, but are not limited to:
      1. neglect of duties or failure to meet standards of efficiency, accuracy and productivity;
      2. failure to meet deadlines;
      3. refusal to follow instructions, procedures or guidelines;
      4. repeated tardiness or absence without proper notification or satisfactory reasons;
      5. failure to cooperate with supervisors or co-workers; and
      6. disruptive conduct;
    2. plagiarizing any part of a story or any other material, fabricating sources, quotes or other information;
    3. knowingly publishing or broadcasting inaccurate information or knowingly allowing such information to be published or broadcast;
    4. failure to follow rules, policies and guidelines established by the operating board, publication, Student Media, policies and procedures of the University, the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, and the laws of the State of Texas;
    5. neglect or abuse of equipment or facilities;
    6. theft or unauthorized use of institutional property including equipment, supplies, records or confidential information;
    7. use of publication or station privileges for personal reasons; and/or
    8. violations of safety rules or accepted safety practices.
  3. If there is evidence that any of the aforementioned student staff members or contributors are in violation of any of the above referenced rules and regulations, the media adviser and dean shall be the final authority on removing a student from their position and/or prohibiting them from submitting material for publication or broadcast.
  4. If there is evidence that the student newspaper editor-in-chief, managing editor, advertising manager, radio station manager, AMP editors or TV President are in violation of any of the above referenced rules and regulations, the operating board shall consider the alleged violations. That review shall be subject to procedures as determined under the authority of the vice president and provide the student whose case is to be considered the:
    1. provisions he or she is charged with having violated;
    2. opportunity to be informed of any evidence to be considered against him or her and an opportunity to rebut it and to present evidence on his or her own behalf; and
    3. decision of the operating board.
  5. The board's review shall be informal and formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The board shall review information pertaining to the alleged violation only and shall rule only on the basis of evidence submitted during the review session; that ruling shall be consistent with the nature of the violation.
  6. Removal of any student media management from their duties shall require a 2/3 majority vote of voting members of the board.
  7. Action of the board on matters such as this may be appealed to the dean under Section 54.26.

Subchapter C: Duties and Responsibilities

Section 54.14: Operating Board

  1. The operating board shall serve as a governing body. The board will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of operating procedures of the student media within the provisions of this chapter.
  2. The board shall serve as a review body to consider appeals related to operating decisions made under the provisions of this chapter. Action of the board may be appealed to the dean in accordance with Section 54.26.
  3. Specific duties of the board include:
    1. approval of yearly editions of a staff manual for each student media organization developed by the adviser and the editor for the newspaper and station manager for the radio station;
    2. interviewing and selection of the editor, managing editor, advertising manager, radio station manager and TV president in April for the term beginning May 1;
    3. interviewing and selection of the A Modest Proposal editors one month before the end of a term as described in Section 54.07(e);
    4. imposing disciplinary action against the newspaper editor, managing editor, advertising manager, AMP editors, radio station manager and TV president for violation of policies or for non-performance of duties. This action may include removal from office, after due notice, by six of the seven voting members of the board;
    5. conducting regular evaluations of the student media;
    6. ruling on disputed materials withheld from publication or broadcast by the adviser and/or student media managers;
    7. mediating disputes between student media managers, advisers, staff and/or the university community;
    8. recommending amendments to the provisions of this chapter.

Section 54.15: A Modest Proposal Editors

  1. A Modest Proposal editors shall be responsible for determining the content of published material both printed and digitally uploaded in consultation with the media adviser.
  2. The editors shall be the official student representatives of AMP on matters that concern the public relations of the paper. The general duties of the editors include:
    1. selection and supervision of contributors with the assistance of the media adviser;
    2. formulating a yearly edition of a staff manual in conjunction with the media adviser for approval by the operating board;
    3. editing of letters to the editor according to Section 54.24 of this chapter;
    4. coordinating and selecting all art/graphics, including photos, and editing submissions for publication and web;
    5. establishing and maintaining production schedules in conjunction with the media adviser;
    6. planning and conducting regular contributor meetings and training sessions;
    7. providing layout guidelines to layout editors and approving print-ready pages to send to printer;
    8. contributing articles as necessary;
    9. assuming responsibility for newsroom furnishings, equipment, and supplies;
    10. determining the selection of contributors for the contributors list based on the criteria in Section 54.11 of this chapter; and
    11. consulting regularly with the media adviser regarding all phases of the publication's operation, including budgetary decisions.

Section 54.16: Student Newspaper Editor

  1. The newspaper editor shall be responsible for the expression of opinion in the newspaper editorial pages and for consulting with the media adviser on all matters of an newspaper editorial nature.
  2. The newspaper editor shall determine the items for news coverage.
  3. The newspaper editor shall be the official student representative of The Mercury on matters that concern the public relations of the paper.
  4. The newspaper editor shall preside over The Mercury's newspaper editorial Board for the purpose of formulating and expressing the paper's position on issues affecting the university community. The student newspaper editorial Board shall consist of five members - the newspaper editor, the managing editor, the advertising manager, and two other paid staff members selected by the newspaper editor.
  5. The general duties of the editor include:
    1. selection and supervision of the news and newspaper editorial staff with assistance of the media adviser;
    2. formulating a yearly edition of a staff manual in conjunction with the media adviser for approval by the operating board;
    3. editing of letters to the newspaper editor according to Section 54.24 of this chapter;
    4. selection of photographs and editing of news materials for publication;
    5. establishing and maintaining production schedules in conjunction with adviser;
    6. planning and conducting regular staff meetings and training sessions;
    7. providing layout guidelines to layout newspaper editors and approving print-ready pages to send to printer;
    8. contributing articles as necessary;
    9. seeking evaluations of reporters from persons interviewed;
    10. assuming responsibility for newsroom furnishings, equipment, and supplies;
    11. consulting regularly with the media adviser regarding all phases of the newspaper operation.

Section 54.17: Student Newspaper Managing Editor

  1. The managing editor shall fill the duties of the editor outlined in Section 54.16 (e) in the editor's absence. In the event the editor resigns, the managing editor will fill the role of interim editor until the operating board can select a replacement.
  2. The managing editor will serve on The Mercury Editorial Board.
  3. The general duties of the managing editor include:
    1. preparation of print-ready pages according to layout developed in conjunction with the newspaper editor;
    2. coordination of all art/graphics, including photos, and share responsibility for photo assignments with newspaper editor;
    3. determine appearance of newspaper in consultation with editor;
    4. maintain production schedule set by editor and adviser;
    5. assist with layout/design on advertisements;
    6. assist with copy editing and/or other editorial functions;
    7. monitor use of computers with editor and adviser;
    8. attend staff and/or production meetings; and
    9. consult regularly with the editor, advertising manager, and adviser.

Section 54.18: Student Newspaper Advertising Manager

  1. The advertising manager is responsible for consulting with the media adviser regarding the acceptability of advertisements as set forth in Subchapter D, Section 54.22.
  2. The advertising manager will serve on The Mercury Editorial Board.
  3. The general duties of the advertising manager include:
    1. solicitation of commercial and classified advertising;
    2. preparation and layout of ads and supervision of their placement;
    3. distribution of newspapers on campus;
    4. regular consultation with the newspaper editor and media adviser regarding the business operation of the paper;
    5. billing and bookkeeping for advertising; and
    6. monthly reports to the publications media adviser of sales efforts and revenues generated.

Section 54.19: Radio UTD Station Manager

  1. The radio station manager shall be responsible for overseeing all facets of Radio UTD's operation and for consulting with the media adviser on all matters pertaining to the programming, staffing, promotion, and operation of the station.
  2. The radio station manager shall determine the appropriate programming format for the station that is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the UTD community.
  3. The radio station manager shall be the official student representative of Radio UTD on matters that concern the public relations of the station.
  4. The general duties of the radio station manager include:
    1. selecting and supervising paid and volunteer radio station personnel with assistance of the media adviser;
    2. formulating a yearly edition of a staff manual in conjunction with the media adviser for approval by the operating board;
    3. developing programming and fundraising ideas in consultation with the media adviser;
    4. consulting with the media adviser and appropriate University personnel to ensure that all technical aspects of the station are in compliance with University rules and regulations;
    5. establishing and maintaining programming schedules in conjunction with the media adviser;
    6. planning and conducting regular staff meetings and training sessions;
    7. ensuring all station personnel adhere to station and FCC policies;
    8. filling a regular weekly timeslot;
    9. assuming responsibility for station furnishings, equipment, and supplies; and
    10. consulting regularly with the media adviser regarding all phases of the station operation.

Section 54.20: UTD TV Station President

  1. The TV station president shall be responsible for overseeing all facets of UTD TV's operation and for consulting with the media adviser on all matters pertaining to the programming, staffing, promotion and operation of the TV station.
  2. The TV station president shall determine the appropriate programming format for the TV station that is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the UTD community.
  3. The TV station president shall be the official student representative of UTD TV on matters that concern the public relations of the TV station.
  4. The general duties of the station manager include, but are not limited to:
    1. selecting and supervising volunteer TV station personnel with assistance of the media adviser;
    2. formulating a yearly edition of a staff manual in conjunction with the media adviser for approval by the operating board;
    3. developing programming and fundraising ideas in consultation with the media adviser;
    4. consulting with the media adviser and appropriate University personnel to ensure that all technical aspects of the TV station are in compliance with University rules and regulations;
    5. establishing and maintaining programming schedules in conjunction with the media adviser;
    6. planning and conducting regular staff meetings and training sessions;
    7. ensuring all TV station personnel adhere to TV station and FCC policies;
    8. assuming responsibility for station furnishings, equipment, and supplies; and,
    9. consulting regularly with the media adviser regarding all phases of the TV station operation.

Section 54.21: Media Advisers

  1. The director of student media serves as the primary media adviser and is responsible for general oversight of the material, programming and business affairs and operating procedures of all UTD student media;
  2. The media adviser shall be consulted on all matters pertaining to the material, programming and business aspects of all student media and shall advise on the appropriate course of action based on sound professional practice;
  3. The media adviser shall attend all staff meetings and training sessions conducted by UTD student media in an advisory capacity.
  4. The media adviser is responsible for the review of all advertising and/or public service announcements and shall reject submitted advertisements and/or public service announcements in accordance with the advertising policies as set forth in Subchapter D, Section 54.22 of this chapter.
  5. In addition, the media adviser shall:
    1. assist the newspaper editor, AMP editors and radio station manager and TV station president in interviewing, selecting, and training of all staff, volunteers, and contributors;
    2. work with outside vendors to ensure that all contract provisions and agreements are kept;
    3. account for all expenditures and collections;
    4. oversee the distribution of the newspaper in conjunction with the administrative assistant;
    5. provide adequate facilities, equipment, and supplies as funding allows;
    6. set advertising rates and subscription prices;
    7. fix the publication dates and production and programming schedules in consultation with the editor, AMP editors, and radio station manager and TV station president;
    8. supervise the care of the physical property used by the staff; and
    9. authorize computer use and access to facilities.
  6. Decisions made under the provision of this Section may be appealed according to Section 54.26 of this Chapter.
  7. The media adviser may, in the interest of maintaining the highest standards of journalism, receive and review all copy submitted on a timely basis for publications and then provide the editors and station managers with such suggestions as are deemed appropriate.
  8. The media adviser will call potential violations of publications policies to the attention of the operating board for action as described in Section 54.26.
  9. The media adviser shall assume no liability for content of any publication broadcast under operating board jurisdiction.
  10. The assistant director of student media serves as the primary broadcast media adviser and is responsible for general oversight of the material and programming and operating procedures of UTD TV and Radio UTD;
  11. The broadcast media adviser shall be consulted on all matters pertaining to the material and programming of UTD TV and Radio UTD and shall advise on the appropriate course of action based on sound professional practice;
  12. The broadcast media adviser shall attend all staff meetings and training sessions conducted by UTD TV and Radio UTD in an advisory capacity.
  13. In addition, the broadcast media adviser shall:
    1. assist the radio station manager and TV station president in interviewing, selecting, and training of all staff, volunteers, and contributors;
    2. work with outside vendors to ensure that all contract provisions and agreements are kept;
    3. coordinate the production and programming schedules in consultation with the radio station manager and TV station president; and
    4. supervise the care of the physical property used by the staff;
  14. Decisions made under the provision of this section may be appealed according to Section 54.26 of this Chapter.
  15. The broadcast media adviser may, in the interest of maintaining the highest standards of journalism, receive and review all content submitted on a timely basis for broadcast and then provide the station manager and TV president with suggestions as are deemed appropriate.
  16. The broadcast media adviser shall assume no liability for content of any broadcast under operating board jurisdiction.

Subchapter D: Operating Policies

Section 54.22: Advertising and Public Service Announcement and Underwriting Policies

  1. The media adviser shall refuse to accept advertising, public service announcements, or underwriting announcements that:
    1. evade, attempt to encourage, or advocate the violation of any federal, state, local law, or rule or regulation of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System or of the university;
    2. would offend a large segment of its audience;
    3. contain material that is obscene, libelous, slanderous, or directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and are likely to incite or produce such action;
    4. encourage or abet academic dishonesty;
    5. appear to be misleading, deceptive, or which grossly exaggerate or make unwarranted claims;
    6. contain attacks of a personal nature or appear to be discriminatory on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status;
    7. reflect unfavorably on competitive organizations, institutions, merchandise, or service; or
    8. do not meet column measurement and/or other mechanical specifications.
  2. Advertising shall not be placed on the front page of the student newspaper.
  3. AMP may not accept advertising.
  4. Radio UTD may NOT accept paid advertising as a condition of its non-commercial, educational status under the guidelines set forth by the Federal Communications Commission, but may accept public service and paid underwriting announcements that may include a business/organization's name, location, type of product/service offered, hours of operation and a phone number and/or web address. Underwriting announcements may not include comparative language (i.e. better, best) or call to action (i.e. come visit us).
  5. UTD TV may NOT accept paid advertising as a condition of its non-commercial, educational status under the guidelines set forth by the Federal Communications Commission, but may accept public service and paid underwriting announcements that may include a business/organization's name, location, type of product/service offered, hours of operation and a phone number and/or web address. Underwriting announcements may not include comparative language (i.e. better, best) or call to action (i.e. come visit us).
  6. Placement of advertising and broadcast announcements is the prerogative of the advertising manager, the radio station manager, and TV president, in consultation with, the media adviser and may not be specified, although it may be requested, by the advertiser.
  7. Opinion print advertising may be accepted if:
    1. full identification of the sponsors is provided;
    2. names and addresses of at least two of the officers of a sponsoring organization appear in the advertisement;
    3. sponsors provide evidence that permission has been given for the use of names of other persons in the advertisement;
    4. political advertising is in compliance with state and local cAMPaign laws; and
    5. the advertisement is acceptable under the standards of SubSection (a).
  8. Opinion advertising may not be broadcast on Radio UTD or UTD TV;
  9. Decisions made under the provisions of this Section may be appealed according to Section 54.26.

Section 54.23: General Policies

  1. The purpose of The Mercury is to publish news, opinion, and feature articles of interest and importance to the university campus and community, with primary emphasis on news that most directly and immediately concerns students.
  2. The purpose of Radio UTD is to provide a programming mix of music, talk, news, and sports that is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the UTD community.
  3. The purpose of A Modest Proposal is to create a forum at UTD for well-written essays, opinions, and social commentary presented in prose, satire, etc.
  4. The purpose of UTD TV is to broadcast news, entertainment shows and other online media content produced by students, staff and faculty to reflect the diversity of the university as a whole and as part of the local and international community
  5. The board is responsible for the review of any material that may be withheld from publication or broadcast according to the standards set forth in this Section.
  6. The media adviser may withhold material from publication or broadcast that:
    1. is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action;
    2. contains material that is obscene (as outlined by the FCC), libelous, or slanderous;
    3. appears to be misleading, deceptive, or which grossly exaggerates;
    4. contains material where accuracy is in question and adjustments in accordance with Section 54.21 (g)(h) are not possible;
    5. that appears to be attacks of a personal nature or to be discriminatory on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status; or
    6. violates good journalistic or broadcasting practice.
  7. A Modest Proposal also recognizes the distinction between the "honest" editorial Section of the paper and its humor Section, as clearly marked by its alternative layout style. In this Section, leeway is to be given as to the conformity with Section 54.23 (f)(3).
  8. Each issue of The Mercury shall carry on the editorial page the statement: "Opinions expressed in The Mercury are those of the editor or of the writer of the article and are not necessarily those of the university administration, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, or of the operating board of the newspaper."
  9. Radio UTD shall broadcast - no less than once per broadcast day - a statement reading: "Opinions expressed on Radio UTD are those of the individual expressing them and are not necessarily those of the university administration, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, or of the operating board of the radio station."
  10. UTD TV shall broadcast in the end credits a statement reading: "Opinions expressed on UTD TV are those of the individual expressing them and are not necessarily those of the university administration, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, or of the operating board of the TV station."
  11. Each issue of A Modest Proposal shall carry on the Table of Contents page the statement: "Opinions expressed in A Modest Proposal are those of the editor or of the writer of the article and are not necessarily those of the university administration, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, or of the operating board of the newspaper."
  12. Each issue of The Mercury and AMP will contain a staff and/or contributor list consisting of the contributors whose efforts assisted in the publication of that issue.
  13. Originals of all copy, including letters to the editor, published in The Mercury and AMP will be retained in the files for two years from date of publication.
  14. All files and written documents of the board, editor, managing editor, advertising manager, A Modest Proposal editors, radio station manager, TV president, media adviser, and other student media staff members shall be the property of the university and maintenance of these files shall be subject to all applicable state and federal laws and university policies and procedures.
  15. All Internet forums, comments, blogs and non-staff posts made available as part of The Mercury, Radio UTD and AMP and UTD TV Web sites are solely provided by, and the responsibility of, the person posting such communication and not of Student Media groups. Student Media strives to provide accurate data and information on the sites, which were created for informational purposes and to allow for open discussion. Student Media reserves the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever, such as abusive, profane, rude or anonymous comments. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact Student Media immediately. The groups will remove objectionable messages if editors, managers and the media adviser determine that removal is necessary. The opinions expressed by users of the aforementioned Web sites and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of The University of Texas at Dallas or any employee thereof. UT Dallas is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Student Media groups and those providing comments.
  16. Changes in the nameplate of The Mercury may be made only upon recommendation of the operating board to the dean.
  17. Changes in the nameplate of A Modest Proposal may be made only upon recommendation of the operating board to the dean.
  18. Changes in the logo of Radio UTD may be made only upon recommendation of the operating board to the dean.
  19. Changes in the logo of UTD TV may be made only upon recommendation of the operating board to the dean.
  20. The Mercury is a minimum of six (6) and maximum of twenty-four (24) page broadsheet or forty-eight (48) page tabloid published every other week; changes in size, number of pages, or frequency may be made only with approval of the adviser and operating board, subject to availability of funds.
  21. A Modest Proposal is a minimum of twelve (12) and maximum of (48) page tabloid published once a month. Changes in size, number of pages, or frequency may be made only with approval of the adviser and operating board, subject to availability of funds.
  22. The press run and distribution points are established by the adviser in consultation with the dean and operating board.
  23. The programming schedule and hours for Radio UTD shall be set on a per semester basis by the radio station manager in conjunction with - and with the approval of - the media adviser. Radio UTD shall broadcast no more than 70 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters and no more than 35 hours per week during the summer session. Radio UTD will cease operations during scheduled and observed holidays and breaks as listed in the academic calendar.
  24. The programming schedule for UTD TV shall be set on a per semester basis by the TV president in conjunction with - and with the approval of - the media adviser.
  25. Newspaper and AMP submissions shall be accepted from any alumni and individuals currently enrolled or employed by the University.
  26. AMP contributor submissions shall be judged by the quality of writing and other requirements outlined in the yearly staff manual. AMP editors retain the right to refuse or edit any submission based on libel, malice, spelling, grammar and style, and violations of Section 54.23 (f) (1-6). Contributors shall not have topics assigned to them and shall be allowed to write about the subjects of their choice.
  27. Newspaper submissions shall be judged by the quality of writing and other requirements outlined in the yearly staff manual. Mercury editors retain the right to refuse or edit any submission based on libel, malice, spelling, grammar and style, and violations of Section 54.23 (f) (1-6).

Section 54.24: Editorial Policies

  1. Every effort shall be made by the student newspaper to cover news accurately from all areas of the campus without favoritism to any division. Primary responsibility for ensuring accuracy in statements of fact rests with those who write and edit the materials. The media adviser shall advise on matters where accuracy is in question.
  2. Every effort shall be made by AMP to allow both sides of an issue or argument space in print and online and to take submissions from all areas of the campus without favoritism to any opinion or division. Primary responsibility for ensuring accuracy in statements of fact rests with those who write and edit the materials. The media adviser shall advise on matters where accuracy is in question.
  3. Every effort shall be made by the student TV station to cover news accurately from all areas of the campus without favoritism to any division. Primary responsibility for ensuring accuracy in statements of fact rests with those who write, film and edit the materials. The media adviser shall advise on matters where accuracy is in question.
  4. A Letters to the Editor column shall be available for the expression of facts and opinions of the readers of the newspaper and/or AMP. Publication of such letters shall be subject to the following limitations to encourage constructive comment:
    1. edited to make them brief (250 words or less) but to preserve the intent of the writer;
    2. free of malice and libel;
    3. signed with the name of the writer which shall be published; and
    4. the material is acceptable under all other standards of this Section.
  5. When an erroneous statement is published or broadcast, a correction should be published or broadcast in the first issue or segment possible after the inaccuracy is discovered. The prominence of the correction should be reasonably commensurate with the importance of the original article or broadcast.
  6. Libelous statements shall not be published in The Mercury or A Modest Proposal. Libel is defined in the laws of Texas in Section 73.001 et seq., Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Slanderous statements shall not be uttered in Radio or UTD TV broadcasts or shows. Liability of broadcaster is defined in the laws of Texas in Section 73.004 et seq., Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Obscene or indecent material (as defined in the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission) or material that invades one's privacy, according to the laws of Texas and judicial interpretations of the U. S. Constitution, shall not be published or broadcast in UT Dallas student media.
  7. All candidates for elected student offices and their platforms shall receive balanced consideration in news content and treatment of political announcements.
  8. In all coverage of controversial issues, the actions and issues shall be the center of the discussion and not the personal qualities of the persons concerned.
  9. Decisions made under the provisions of this Section may be appealed according to Section 54.26 of this Subchapter.

Section 54.25: Business Procedures

  1. The business operation of The Mercury, A Modest Proposal, Radio UTD and UTD TVare under the direction of the dean in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, university administrative policies and procedures, and the laws of the State of Texas.
  2. The business operation includes budget administration, payroll, purchasing, contracts for services or supplies, the approval of requisitions, and execution of any voucher or other internal document for the purpose of the financial operation of The Mercury, Radio UTD, AMP and UTD TV.
  3. All actions of the assistance vice president in these matters are final.

Section 54.26: Review and Appeal

  1. The operating board shall serve as the first review of appealed operating decisions as are permitted under the various provisions of this chapter.
  2. The dean is the final level in the appellate process.
  3. In all matters of review and appeal under this chapter, the board shall review, hear arguments, accept as evidence only that information that relates specifically to the decision in question and shall render a ruling only on the basis of the provisions of this chapter.
  4. Appeals normally shall be filed in writing to the chair of the operating board within two (2) class days of the action and shall be heard within two (2) class days of the filing.
  5. Decisions may be appealed to the board and, then, to the dean if not resolved:
    1. by the advertiser or advertising manager if a submitted advertisement is rejected by the adviser;
    2. by a person or group of persons who considers printed advertisements, published content or broadcast matter to be objectionable;
    3. by an editor or writer of material withheld from publication;
    4. by the student broadcaster prohibited from broadcasting objectionable material; and
    5. to the dean by the editor, advertising manager, or station manager, or TV president upon removal from office.

Policy History

  • Issued: August 1, 2008
  • Revised: May 23, 2012