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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

    Student gov’t censors ‘Screw’ newsletter

    After having no problems all year, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona censored the Zona Screw twice this week for content it deemed offensive in the Screw’s preview of the first two basketball games of the year.

    “”I am very, very angry. I don’t know what else to say,”” said Andy Greenberg, the Zona Screw editor in chief. “”I did not expect this sort of thing to happen. This is what the Zona Screw is about, digging up dirt on another team – it’s unbelievable.””

    ASUA gained approval power of the newsletter, which is intended to provide game analysis and heckles for students attending football and basketball games, after a bylaw change in September.

    It in no way adds value – if anything it makes us look bad, like we can’t think of something that’s creative.

    Tommy Bruce, ASUA President

    Zona Zoo director Michael Huston said he censored the publication “”one or two times”” during basketball season last year, when he had unofficial censorship power.

    Zona Screw publishes public information, not rumors, and is therefore OK to print, Greenberg said.

    “”Even a little kid can look up this information,”” he added.

    However, heckling players involved with child molestation and domestic violence did not sit well with ASUA President Tommy Bruce or Zona Zoo director David Roost.

    “”It in no way adds value – if anything it makes us look bad, like we can’t think of something that’s creative,”” Bruce said. “”It’s not something that ASUA represents at all. I don’t see how it’s something any part of the university wants to represent.””

    In one of the censoring incidents, Greenberg wanted his “”Screw of the Game”” to be a Virginia player who was found to have “”allegedly kicked, beat and choked his girlfriend.””

    However, Greenberg said Roost told him ASUA does not want a publication with the ASUA logo on it to heckle an athlete concerning domestic violence.

    The first censorship came up over former Lumberjack basketball player Stephen Garnett, who Greenberg said his crew discovered was the ringleader of a hazing incident in high school that eventually led him to plead guilty to 12 counts of aggravated assault, according to an Associated Press report in 2000.

    According to court records cited in the AP report, victims told investigators that “”the other students held them against their will, pulled down their pants and inserted fingers and other objects into their rectums.””

    The Screw’s version included a bullet point saying Garnett “”allegedly inserted fingers and other objects into inappropriate body parts,”” following two bullet points referencing his high school hazing incident and aggravated assault charges.

    Bruce told Greenberg that information needed to be taken out along with a sentence saying Garnett “”allegedly violated younger students.”” He added that a comment about child molestation is inappropriate and “”potentially extremely offensive.””

    Instead, the third line was changed to simply say Garnett is no longer a member of the team, not a huge basis for heckling since he graduated in 2006.

    If Zona Screw took the ASUA logo off its publication, it would not be funded by the university and would have to pay for the copies through advertising, Greenberg said.

    Suzy Mason, the UA associate athletics director of event operations, has previously said that Zona Screw could not be distributed if it’s not affiliated with ASUA.

    Greenberg said he plans to look into the legality of the situation.

    “”I’m not going to stop doing what we’re doing because of it,”” he said.

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