Oct

17

Columbia Daily Spectacle (UPDATED)

Written by

Those hoping for the Spec site to return will be happy to hear that, according to editor-in-chief Melissa Repko, “the website should be back up again in the next 24 hours.” In the meantime, though, tipsters have provided a more complete picture of what brought the site down. 

According to sources, a group of managing board members, including now-former online editor Ryan Bubinski, have expressed unhappiness with the leadership of Repko and managing editor Elizabeth Simins, and have been meeting to discuss changes to the managing and corporate board structures. These sources say that, when Repko and Simins refused to allow discussion of the proposals at a tomorrow night’s staff meeting, (several editors planned to bring the ideas up anyway), Bubinski decided to take the website down until the demands put forward by the managing board members were met. Spectator editors did not respond to requests for comment yet have declined to comment on advice of counsel. More to follow shortly.

UPDATE (6:15 PM): The following is Bubinski’s resignation letter from Friday afternoon.


“Dear members of the 133 Managing Board,

This has been a trying year for the newspaper, and moral [sic] is low across the staff. Such circumstances require a serious evaluation of the problems facing the publication. As you are most likely aware, a recent proposal to create an MB-wide forum to critically assess the role of existing management positions, to more strictly define position responsibilities, and entertain proposed structural adjustments has been interpreted as a conspiracy against the current Corporate Board, who invoked executive privilege and the threat of dismissal in an attempt to quash all effort to create such a forum. I am insulted by their reaction, and embarrassed to serve under such management. I do not wish for my name or my work to be associated with an organization that does not respect the experience and insight of its staff, punishes innovative thought, and discourages innovation. I hereby resign from my position as Online Editor.


I apologize to those of you who were requesting my services on future projects. I believe the CB’s claim to executive privilege on all issues is both unconstitutional according to the legal document of the Spectator Publishing Company and harmful to the publication as a whole, and therefore I refuse to passively accept their claims by not acting on this issue. At the end of the night (more appropriately the beginning of the morning) you put out the paper, not the CB. You are undermining the voice you deserve by not openly acknowledging this fact.

I have removed all personal intellectual property authored by me from the Columbia Spectator webspace; all content produced by others remains. I am willing to restore this property in full should the MB collectively condemn the CB’s attempts to claim absolute executive privilege and should the MB achieve a representative voice in the structure of the 134 Corporate and Managing Boards (a privilege the CB claims exists solely with the Turkeyshoot Board, in direct contradiction to Article 12, Section 2 of the constitution). I will consider these objectives accomplished and will return my property in full if the CB signs a formal, and public declaration of intent to:

  – Create a forum for discussing potential changes to the CB and MB structure

  – Work with the MB to draft and ratify an operable Constitution

  – Work with the MB to reevaluate the Turkeyshoot process, and accept whatever clearly defined process two-thirds of the MB votes to institute

  – In all interactions with the MB, operate in the spirit of the existing constitution, which does not give the CB complete control over the operations of the organization, but instead treats two-thirds of the MB as the executive authority

I stand firm with my principles, to the point where I will gladly forget my body of work for this publication ever existed. There is no longer an “online component,” to anything.

Yours truly,

Ryan Bubinski”

– JCD & AB

Tags: , ,

102 Comments

  1. Down with Spec Tyranny!  

    Revolution!

  2. wow

    This shitshow has its own tag now?

  3. i meant

    the "Spectacle at Spec" tag, which appears newly created.

  4. hey che-fans  

    Pseudo-revolutionaries, chill out. You don't know what you're talking about. Suspicion of power is a good thing, but assuming those in positions of authority are the ones in the wrong here would be dumb.

    Also, Bwog, Spec editors haven't refused to comment, they're sticking to their original position and not speaking on advice from legal counsel.

    • James  

      At the time we first wrote the post, Spec editors had not responded to requests for comment. Since then, they have clarified they are not yet speaking on-the-record as per advice of counsel, and we have updated the post to reflect this.

  5. it would be cool if  

    he knew how to spell morale. also, he's blackmailing students which i'm pretty sure can be cause for suspension. oh and one last thing - he looks like an evil munchkin

    • How would  

      actions taken at an outside of Columbia's sphere ("Independent since 1962"!) be linked to the Columbia disciplinary process?
      And if you're talking about suspension from spec, well, that doesn't matter.

  6. no  

    by that logic all volunteer staff (so everyone) would have to sign an agreement

  7. a passing spectator  

    both sides need to cool down a bit and talk to each other in a more friendly language. also, taking down the website in this manner seems quite rash and unjustified.

  8. back to politics  

    It's not a shareholder's revolt, it's like Milton burning down the place in Office Space.

  9. irate spec writer  

    yeah statements blah blah blah

    spec people need to work out their shit so that i can access my articles again

  10. specboard  

    is a drug-snorting mess.

  11. Ian Malcolm  

    WOW. DRAMA. MORE INTERESTING THAN DINOSAURS EATING US ALIVE. BWOG KEEP THE COVERAGE UP.

  12. Hahaha  

    This is so Gilmore Girls.

  13. entertaining  

    spec should do this more often and print all the internal scandals and gossip on their papers so people will actually read for fun.

  14. Except

    Execs in CU clubs pull in $0.00K (at least Spec's do)

  15. dude  

    Hey Bwog, are you going to review Latenite or did you forget to send someone?

  16. Skeptic  

    If this turns out to be another self-flagellating, self-created hoax to get more attention for an un-important entity (like the balloon boy), I am really going to hate the insecurity of the world this week.

  17. Query  

    What is the difference between the Corporate Board and the Managing Board? (And for that matter, whatever the fuck a Turkeyshoot is) Which people are members of both?

  18. Not okay

    CB is just the EIC, managing editor, and publisher. MB is all the actual editors of the paper for the major subheadings. AKA they do the real work and the CB sits on its ass and does "page reads." They have been invisible this year in terms of directing vision and policy.

  19. alum

    it was inevitable that the petty personal struggles that perennially consume that paper would one day shut it down.

    interesting question: this is all breaking on bwog. is this going to tip the balance of the bwog-spec share of a campus media audience? the NYT is already searching bwog for columbia opinion rather than spec...

    • Ignornant  

      I know nothing about actual numbers, but if Bwog doesn't already have a significantly larger relevance on this campus, then I am completely out of touch. You have to read Bwog to be in the know. No one reads spec unless a copy was left in your bathroom stall or on the chair next to you in a lecture when class hasn't yet started.

      • And  

        I'm calling myself ignorant of the numbers, not you for making your point. I was just adding that I think the shift you predict has already occurred.

      • Hrm

        It's worth checking out the relative traffic figures of Spec & Bwog on alexa.com. Pretty much neck and neck recently, but tipped in favor of Spec over the long haul.

        The explanation? I'm guessing Spec's reach is better than Bwog's outside of the undergraduate population, while Bwog's is stronger within.

        • You may  

          be correct in regards to who reads Spec vs. who reads Bwog, but do not ever reference Alexa rankings unless you are a sleazeball in the marketing department.

          Alexa rankings are determined using statistics gathered ONLY FROM BROWSERS WITH THE ALEXA TOOLBAR INSTALLED. Only idiots install that toolbar, and so Alexa only tracks websites' rankings among the idiot population.

          • Hrm

            True, Alexa is far from perfect. You'd be a fool to treat their numbers as gold, because they're rough estimates based on an imperfect collection system.

            But Alexa's numbers CAN be useful for determining traffic orders of magnitude. My point was simply that Bwog and Spec are in the same ballpark by that metric.

            Although if this keeps up...

  20. fermi  

    S(B) ≥ S(A)

  21. yeah  

    Are they trying to reprogram a website in 24 hours? Or are they trying to "compel" web guy to release his grip within 24 hours?

  22. holy shit.  

    this is bonkersssss.

  23. Wow

    The site's still down.

    This is by far the most absurd publication drama I've ever witnessed at Columbia. And that's saying something.

  24. Dead Tree  

    It's just the website that's down, not the rest of the paper.
    Who wants to start calling Spec offices Sunday night?

  25. just out of curiosity  

    what position were they trying to add?

  26. heads up  

    elizabeth simins' gmail status for like three days was " 'they said they wanted to have a meeting. i said i really didn't care.' - melissa"

  27. I know  

    nothing about this. But taking down the website (regardless of any redundant "intellectual property authored by me," "I stand by my principles so much" whatevercrap) seems like a dbag move to me. I mean, if the guy didn't think he had any other options, maybe... but it *really* seems like a douche move. He did take a whole website hostage though, which is pretty impressive. Actually, if his letter had been better worded and more self-righteous (I'm talking Dickens' quotes here, or at least some well placed melodramatic cultural references), I would totally be on his side. Not that it would matter in any way, shape, or form, but I'm assuming the purpose of bwog comments is for people who have no influence to offer meaningless commentary. Anyway, the letter as it stands is really boring and stupid-sounding (I mean, surely he knew the letter would end up being seen by people besides the ones he was addressing it to, and so he could've taken the time to write a more entertaining letter, or at least one with fewer errors), and the list of demands makes the guy seem really childish. If only it had been a bit more over-the-top. Ah, sigh. Well, hopefully this will make good Varsity Show material one day.

    Yay meaningless commentary!

  28. no crown

    Your comments come from a non-Columbia computer as well, as do mine, and we both have connections to Columbia. I for one know that I do, and I have no reason to doubt that you do as well. And I for one think it is presumptuous to believe that people that don't have a connection would be reading and posting on this blog. In any event, bigoted remarks have at times appeared here before, and sometimes even from posters who weren't ashamed to attach their uni's to their posts. Granted, only a minority of posts contain bigoted sentiments, but I for one find it quite disturbing that those who posts implicitly anticipate that their sentiments are shared.

    • Alum

      I said "may not", so of course I realize that the author might be a Columbian. At the same time, there are people who seem eager to make Columbia seem like an anti-Semitic place, and many of them are not connected to the university. I hope #71 is one of those folks, just trolling for a thread with lots of traffic.

  29. correction

    In the last sentence, "that those who post such sentiments..."

  30. hmm

    I don't know anyone on Spec, so don't particularly care who wins this. It's one thing to take the website down. But too pull all his past content from the webspace is fucking disgraceful. This guy sounds like a massive tool. You can publicly resign and criticize your former bosses, but you cannot then steal the newspaper's intellectual property. Pretend this was the NYTimes and the Online Editor did this - he would probably have criminal charges filed against him. I hope the Spec's ex-Online Editor realizes what an idiot he is being.

  31. hmmm

    If he handed over the passwords why did the site stay down? If he handed over the passwords, why is he trying to extort agreements out of them?

    Does that mean any time a newspaper employee doesn't like what the people in charge decide, if they're lucky enough to be in charge of the online content, it's okay for them take the site down and make demands?

    Cool.

    Any lawyers out there?

  32. the real motivation  

    i believe you have my stapler?

  33. well

    most publications have you sign something saying your work for them becomes their property. spec doesn't. so it seems like his code would still be his. he didn't delete everyone elses stuff - just the website he created, which happened to be the way to access everyone elses stuff.

  34. does

    anyone know what position they were trying to create?

  35. gadabout

    Bwog, which feels so free in distributing information about other campus groups as though they were merely subjects for [yellow] journalism and not fellow students, is the first to freak out when a whiff of their own internal drama goes public. Its editors are the first to use "we're all fellow students together!" as a defense against criticism, and also the first to forget it. Silly!

    • However  

      the fact remains that your website went down, without any explanation, and with people freely tipping off others about the reasons why. Bwog is under no obligation to keep a lid on your internal drama when the internal drama has overflowed its container.

  36. And they're back!  

    So, who caved in first, the rebels or the evil empire?

  37. What?  

    I just checked it and it's still down.

  38. y'all

    will forget about this as of wednesday.

    shit won't even get a joke in the varsity show.

  39. more of an  

    Oh snap then anything

  40. another alum

    For the past 30 years, college campi have slouched towards becoming high school grades 13-16. Even post-graduate 25-year olds seem like highschoolers.

    The concept of a student-run paper, independent of adult authority may have been a noble ideal in the 1960s, but it really seems like today's college students are truly lacking guidance from anyone with a clue.

    Too bad there are no adults willing to volunteer their time to teach students how to run a newspaper (or radio station... or any other campus enterprise for that matter).

    Despite the common cliche that one learns most from his mistakes, sometimes it is valuable to have someone to guide you from making them everyday.

  41. it's sad  

    that bwog has to exploit internal issues at a fellow student organization to get web traffic. at least spec keeps it professional.

  42. This is  

    The ultimate failure of management. CB needs to pull their heads out of their asses. The fact that they would even let this thing get so out of hand shows how incompetent they are. All three of them. Any even halfway decent manager would have averted such discord. The whole thing is charlatan.

    ps
    What BS about legal advice, crimes, etc. All just shows how far in the hole CB&MB are.

  43. Lara Chelak  

    Although I wouldn't advise them to pull their heads out of their asses per se, I wholeheartedly agree.

    Many fail to realize that the Spectator is first, a corporation. It exists thanks to an endowment, a large budget, and a multitude of other business-related behaviors.

    It is NOT a simple student organization. Therefore its internal structure must be closely followed and kept accountable.

    Confused? http://spc.columbiaspectator.com/

  44. i think  

    all the post with the online editor's name have been deleted.

    • James  

      Under our comment policy, all students (with a few exceptions) can request deletion of all comments with their name attached.

      • curious

        Who are the "few exceptions" under that policy?

        • James  

          There's a more relaxed policy for student leaders: posts purely about policy disagreements (rather than character claims) may be left up in those situations. But that covers only a small number of students.

          • #121

            hmm, OK. My thought would be that he-who-shall-not-be-named is a now-former student leader who's made himself a public figure through his actions in this case, but your call, Bwog. Mostly I just find it amusing that he's bothering to try putting this genie back in the bottle.

          • James  

            It's certainly a solid argument; this case is definitely in the gray area on what a "student leader" is, but since we didn't even originally have a student leader exception, we're still inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt.

          • Redacter  

            I went to a cache and removed all identifying info. If Bwog removes this post, then don't believe their removal policy.


            Posted by go [REDACTED] : #5 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:20 PM
            take down the evil empire!

            Posted by anti-revolutionary again : #9 (in reply to #6) · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:33 PM
            "As you are most likely aware, a recent proposal to create an MB-wide forum to critically assess the role of existing management positions, to more strictly define position responsibilities, and entertain proposed structural adjustments has been interpreted as a conspiracy against the current Corporate Board, who invoked executive privilege and the threat of dismissal in an attempt to quash all effort to create such a forum."

            I would expect nothing less from the CB if a meeting was held behind their backs to plan what ended up looking like a coup - even if that wasn't what was originally intended, their proposal was so poorly handled that the CB told them they would not accept such hostile advances. Kudos!

            Also, what [REDACTED] did is illegal (and just dumb - it's not [REDACTED] property). That's gotta count for something.

            Posted by Dumb Spec : #10 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:38 PM
            1)Assuming [REDACTED]'s statement is true, they didn't force him to sign a "work-for-hire" contract for developing the website?

            2) Yeah, threatening a whole bunch of quasi-journalists with dreams of ferreting out malfeasance and providing a voice for the people. Heavy handed attempts to squash criticism always go down well!

            3) Go drama! I look forward to reading coverage of all this in the Spec. "Spec on Spec: Crisis on Broadway", and of course, since they're self-important, with a 100pt headline and a whitewash on the Corporate machinations.

            Posted by [REDACTED] : #13 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:45 PM
            is the man, anyone who says he isn't is a CB plant

            Posted by Yes : #14 (in reply to #13) · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:48 PM
            He's tremendously talented, but that doesn't excuse criminal asshattery.

            Posted by Thoughts : #15 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 6:59 PM
            What's wrong with a little Corporate Criticism? I think of this whole little Spec-tacle as a shareholder's revolt. Of course, Spectator's a private company, so this revolutionary movement is destined to fail. Unless [REDACTED] knows a good lawyer. And/or turns it into a free speech argument (calling Prezbo...)

            If by some miracle [REDACTED] is within his rights to pull his content, then good for him. Unfortunately, methinks the powers-that-be that keep Spectator afloat will release the hounds on him.

            Posted by yay [REDACTED]! : #19 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 7:11 PM
            he seems like a better person than any of those resume-padders who call themselves the spec board

            Posted by ... : #25 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 7:46 PM
            i say it's [REDACTED]'s fault for getting involved with an organization that has not only a managing board but also a corporate boards.

            i mean come on, how could you possibly invest energy into an organization that is so obviously top heavy.

            moral of the story: if you invest significant time or energy into any group that has an "executive board" or a "corporate board" you will wish you hadn't.

            Posted by good : #27 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 7:57 PM
            for [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. power-hungry spec execs need a reality check.

            Posted by Hrm : #36 (in reply to #35) · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 8:51 PM
            Once again, I'd like to point out that this conflict arose from an effort by [REDACTED] and other editors to EXPAND the CB for next year, not abolish it.

            Posted by umm : #33 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 8:15 PM
            does [REDACTED] know that no one reads the spec?

            i didn't even know they had a website until right now.

            Posted by bc2010 : #34 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 8:19 PM
            [REDACTED] sucks!!! go [REDACTED]!

            Posted by Even : #35 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 8:48 PM
            though shutting down the websites is not the best course of action (and coul be illegal), [REDACTED] is clearly the one with his screwed on right. Fuck the CB, they shouldn't exist.

            Posted by Hrm : #36 (in reply to #35) · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 8:51 PM
            Once again, I'd like to point out that this conflict arose from an effort by [REDACTED] and other editors to EXPAND the CB for next year, not abolish it.

            Posted by Spec person : #39 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:10 PM
            MB is all the editors, no idea what the CB is, not the student though.

            and Turkeyshoot is basically applying for positions (Associates, Deputies, Editors).

            and isn't [REDACTED] dating [REDACTED]? so.. doesn't that make this really awkward?

            Posted by Hey bwog, : #41 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:14 PM
            Why does this letter merit publication? A fellow student-run media outlet is going through a hard time. How would you feel if your dirty laundry was exposed for the entire Columbia student body to (potentially) read?

            Spec, like every campus publication, has its problems. And maybe its reputation isn't great. But (most of) the members on MB are good editors and great people who don't deserve the shit that both [REDACTED]'s actions and BWOG's gossiping are subjecting them to. Lay off.

            And to the thoughtful individual who thought it would be a good idea to forward this letter to BWOG, you're acting no better than the people you're seeking to hurt.

            Posted by yeahh!! : #43 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:19 PM
            yeahhhh [REDACTED]!

            Posted by go [REDACTED]! : #44 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:19 PM
            the CB's actions were way off-base, in addition to being unconstitutional. i'm glad [REDACTED] had the balls to do something about it. i just hope that the reason he did this does not get lost in all the drama over him doing it.

            Posted by Well, : #45 (in reply to #41) · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:28 PM
            Considering your website is down, people would be suspicious if the Spec went all Baghdad Bob and said, nope, everything is all right, nothing to see here.

            Also, that letter was drafted for public consumption. Isn't journalism built on leaks? Besides, a Managing Board member thought it was important enough to send to Bwog. And the issue seems to be not the Managing Board, but the Corporate Board. I don't see how publishing this letter adversely affects the good editors and good people, considering that this [REDACTED] fellow is bearing the brunt of this whole thing, and I guess the Exec people too.

            Posted by Badass [REDACTED] : #46 · reply · track
            October 17, 2009 at 9:38 PM
            So, basically [REDACTED] is holding the website hostage?

            Badass.

            Posted by Rumors. : #67 (in reply to #39) · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM
            No, [REDACTED] is not dating [REDACTED].

            Seriously? This thread is just a ton of rumors. Hopefully Spec will break the news themselves with actual facts on Monday.

            Posted by Grow up : #68 · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 1:39 AM
            [REDACTED] and supporters. You're like 4 year olds who are having a destructive fit because you didn't get what you want right away. Is taking Spec offline how you demonstrate your journalistic integrity? No, just your tantrum. Good luck MB with your pre-schoolers!

            Posted by Reality, much? : #82 · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 8:21 AM
            "Idiot"is a good start.

            Do you people know there's a real world out there? Do you get the difference between even bad management and actual crime?

            Whatever the corporate board may have done right or wrong, they aren't some oppressive government denying people their human rights. Or even some bunch of fat cat corporate bosses giving themselves billion dollar bonuses. They're college students doing their best or slacking off or making bad calls or good calls or whatever usual range of stuff people in those positions do.

            What [REDACTED] did though is ACTUALLY ILLEGAL - even in the unreal world of a university. Look it up. Ask a lawyer. (So incidentally whoever put his letter up on this blog just blew any chance he might have had of finding a way to keep it quiet that he's probably committed a crime. Nice friend!) And he didn't just hurt the women in charge of spec. He hurt every spec writer ever who counts on having their work accessible. He hurt spec's relationship with its advertisers. He took a stand that it's okay to suppress a newspaper if you have minor disagreements over how it should be run and lose an argument with your bosses.

            And he's some kind of hero standing up to The Man?

            Grow up folks.



            Posted by Hrm : #84 (in reply to #83) · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 9:31 AM
            I'm not sure about physical property, but there's a federal judicial precedent that when someone develops intellectual property under the auspices of/for the use of a volunteer organization (whether the person paid or not), he/she surrenders rights to it. And you'd be hard pressed to prove Spec's Web site wasn't designed for Spec. (I am trying and failing to find literature online about the precedent, but I know I've seen it mentioned before.)

            My guess is that [REDACTED] did not know this. Or maybe he just didn't care.



            Posted by [REDACTED[ : #103 · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM
            I can personally attest to the fact that the entire organization is disgustingly managed. This was one of the many reasons I resigned as [REDACTED]'s co-editor last April after acting as Online Editor for an entire year and a half.

            Thank god for some sense. Spectator: maybe you'll learn to embrace innovation and not stomp it out now? I doubt you'll be finding any digital talent on this campus for quite a while.


            Posted by mockfrog : #104 · reply · track
            October 18, 2009 at 10:06 PM How ironic - and to think that [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] were an item last year when they staged a similar coup against the former Online Editor.



            Posted by Hrm : #114 (in reply to #112) · reply · track
            October 19, 2009 at 5:59 PM
            Whatever your or [REDACTED]'s objections may be with the oversight of the paper, what exactly is "BS" about pointing out that it is criminal behavior to steal things that don't belong to you? How is that not proof positive of how desperate and "far in the hole" he had become? What other laws am I entitled to break when I'm angry at my boss?

            Being a halfway decent leader (or even a pretty good one) can't always stop someone who is dead set on having his way from kicking up shit or doing harm to the company. Power struggles happen even in well-managed organizations, it's just that in most cases the players are mature enough to sort them out internally. Evidently Mr. [REDACTED] does not fit this description.

            If, as [REDACTED] argues, Spectator should be run more like a company, perhaps [REDACTED] should have notified the board of trustees of his concerns, not acted like a damned, petulant fool and dragged an organization he theoretically cares about through the mud.



            Posted by [REDACTED] : #115 · reply · track
            October 19, 2009 at 6:42 PM
            Just a bit of a "fun fact."

            The work that [REDACTED] [REDACTED] completed for the Spectator (including extensive research, management of a small staff, and testing) would cost well over $50,000 in the professional world. However, seeing as the majority of staff members with the company are unpaid, he most definitely offered this work free of charge.

            Additionally, as an online editor I was never asked to sign a single document.

          • James  

            Nope, you're good to go.

  45. Lara Chelak  

    Are you kidding me? What is this?!

  46. censorship

    I was going to point out that comments 103 and 104 were by the same person. See here: http://crunchymustard.com/

    Ms. Chelak, sorry that your time there sucked, but you're not there anymore. Let it be, lest you want your statements to come off to the Columbia community as unprofessional and bitter.

  47. Lara Chelak  

    Unfortunately you're mistaking my father's words for my own. Mock frog is a family joke nick name.

    You can contact him at [email protected], just as his comment is tagged.

    I'm sure you can imagine how defensive parents can get of their children. I've asked him not to comment, but parents just say the darndest things!

    And I take offense to your claim that my time "sucked" there. I had the chance to work with an extremely talented staff, worked to successfully complete a number of innovative projects, and immensely enjoyed much of my time with the company save a few individuals.

    In fact, it deeply pains me to see these events unfolding in this manner as the Spectator was a part of my life every day for a fair period of time.

    Finally, I suppose that appending my name to each of my comments demonstrates a strong sense of professionalism and personal accountability. This is an issue I take very seriously. I take offense to your comment and I'd suggest you double check your claims next time.

  48. William P. Davis

    A few things:
    You don't need to sign anything for your work to belong to the company. As well, pay has nothing to do with the matter. At the paper I work at, one line in our bylaws says all content submitted to us is owned by us, unless the contributor works out an agreement with us ahead of time. Although, all our writers are paid, so it is a little clearer.

    The Columbia Spectator is an independent paper, meaning going to the board of trustees would accomplish nothing. What he did was erred his employer — something that will now follow him wherever he goes, hopefully.

    • True

      I meant the paper's trustees (or directors—call them what you will), not the university's. As an independent non-profit, the board (composed of Spectator alumni in this case) is the ultimate arbiter of what goes on at the paper, even though it rarely steps in.

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