February 10, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 10
University, Heights Reach Lease Agreement
Boston College administrators and the editors of the Heights, BC's independent student newspaper, have reached an agreement on the paper's lease, ending what became a public controversy between the University and its oldest campus newspaper.
Heights Editor-in-Chief Ryan Heffernan '06 signed the agreement with Vice President for Student Affairs Cheryl Presley on Jan. 23, creating a new lease that extends through the end of fall semester 2004.
The disagreement surfaced last semester when private discussions between administrators and the editors regarding the paper's governance and responsiveness to community complaints were made public. Talks resumed following the Christmas break, and after the administration discussed its concerns and expectations with the newly elected Heights editorial board, a mutual agreement was reached that led to the lease signing.
"We are pleased to have reached an accord that is respectful both of our values as a Jesuit, Catholic university and their role as an independent student newspaper," said BC Director of Public Affairs Jack Dunn.
"It's great to have the Heights back doing what it has done since 1919: providing news and opinion for the Boston College community."
Heffernan, a communication major from Staten Island, NY, said he was pleased to have the issue resolved so his staff could focus on producing a newspaper that serves the BC community.
"The willingness of the BC administration to work with us on the ordeal was comforting, and the demonstrated commitment that the University has shown to us during these negotiations has the entire staff of the Heights hopeful that this will be one of the strongest years for the newspaper," said Heffernan.
"From all of this, we have discovered that both parties have an interest and dedication in working with one another, and we look to build on that in the future." •