The connection of the so-called “Craigslist Killer” to Boston University has been publicly reported worldwide, but the BU Admissions Office would rather not remind potential students and their parents coming to campus for a visit. Instead, certain admissions staffers have decided to literally hide the free press, removing from public view all issues of The Daily Free Press student newspaper that contain front page stories about good ol’ CK.
Of course, in the time it takes to say Facebook Status Update, students employed in the office revealed the deceptive plot, mentioning in one FB thread: “‘[T]he freep [Free Press] is out sometimes, but [admission staffer’s name removed]’s been screening it to make sure that med student’s story is not in it before they put it out.’ He continues in saying that there is a ‘huge pile’ of newspapers in the back room for this reason. . . . [Another student wrote] ‘Everytime ive been there its been in the back even when it wasn’t talking about the med student. the last time i remember the paper being out when there was a story on the hockey team winning the national championship.’”
When, oh when, will over-zealous administrators with underwhelming PR-savvy learn that in the Internet age all acts of censorship or deception will come to light and cause more harm than good? In this case, the office’s CK-news hideaway has prompted unfavorable news coverage, allegations of possible legal wrongdoing, and public shame-on-you statements by the university’s college of communications dean and a representative of the Student Press Law Center.