Freedom of Press for Those Who Own Press
In 1918 and 1919, editors of The University Weekly butted heads with the administration and found that editorial freedom extended only so far as a student could stay in school.
Editor Herbert Faisst wrote a sharply worded attack against President John C. Futrall, criticizing him personally and for a variety of student grievances, primarily the "stick law," a university policy that substracted credit hours from graduation based on the number of times a student missed class.
Faisst argued that the stick law was too strict, especially for students who missed class because of illness or for university-related travel. If Faisst held the high ground at the beginning of the argument, he lost all advantage when he became involved in a hazing scandal. Robert Leflar wrote in his history of the university:
He [Faisst] and other upperclassmen ... attempted to haze one J.B. Stanfield who fought back, ultimately with a knife, and inflicted minor cuts upon the three of them, including Faisst. Later the hazers gave Stanfield a whipping, and Stanfield identified Faisst as having held a revolver on him while the others whipped him. For this, Faisst was put on disciplinary probation.
At the end of the school year, Faisst published an extra issue of The University Weekly that he had printed in Little Rock and which appeared on campus just before commencement. Editorials in the issue "attacked President Futrall violently, demanded that he be fired, condemned numerous administrative policies, and charged Futrall with regularly censoring University news."
Other editorial staff members disclaimed any knowledge of the issue, and Faisst was expelled by the faculty.