Strip club ads in student newspaper cause controversy - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Strip club ads in student newspaper cause controversy

Students who run Radford University's newspaper say they are being asked to turn away some advertisers.

During the school year, the Tartan publishes about 12,000 newspapers every month.

Students find, write and edit their own stories also find advertisers that includes a couple of strip clubs.

For several weeks during the school year, Radford University's student- run newspaper ''The Tartan'', placed ads for strip clubs; one in West Virginia and the other in Roanoke.

"I just don't see the problem with it," said Alex Pistole, who is the paper's current editor in chief.

Pistole is also an Army vet who was awarded a purple heart after being wounded in Afghanistan.

Glen Luke Flanagan ran the paper this past year. Flanagan said publishing the Tartan costs $23,600 per year and that's bare bones.

The strip clubs, he says, have been steady advertisers, but recently university officials asked him to reconsider accepting those ads.

"We had this discussion where I was told that parents are concerned about this, maybe it doesn't make the university look so good," Flanagan said. "I said 'Well I understand that but it's a solid business decision because we have to bring in revenue to continue operating student media."

Radford University in a statement said it did not ask to have the ads discontinued, rather it wanted students to review journalistic and ethical standards when considering future ads that might be quote "controversial or provocative."

"Does that offend you? It doesn't offend me," said student Diana Cossio. "It doesn't bring a good image to our university but it is freedom of speech so I guess people have the right to have it here."

Pistole said the paper is not out to offend, but the strip club ads are perfectly legal.

''It brings in revenue that we have to get to pay the school back every year. You know it's a good client for us as far as advertisers and the ads are not explicit," Pistole said. "They're not really offensive. There's nobody naked is the point. There's no body parts? There's a silhouette of a girl."

The university says it's unaware as to whether complaints are coming from students or parents.

Pistole said he's going ahead with taking more ads from the strip club-- and hopes the university doesn't interfere.