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Bemidji State University: Student newspaper temporarily halts operation

Bemidji State University's student newspaper, the Northern Student, has ceased publication as of last week.

The decision was made after producing its first paper of the school year on Sept. 9, with no faculty advisor assigned as yet.

"Production has been temporarily halted pending the naming of an advisor," said Andy Bartlett, associate director of communications and marketing at BSU.

The Northern Student, which is published every Thursday, has been the campus newspaper at BSU since 1926. The student-run paper is governed by a media board and is not connected to the BSU Mass Communications Department.

According to Bartlett, the University has made several attempts to recruit an advisor for the newspaper, but has had no luck yet.

"We are 0-4 for a variety of reasons," said Bartlett. "We are still trying to get through the list of potential advisors."

Bartlett said an advisor is needed to help guide the paper and its staff through the process of assembling the paper.

The Sept. 9 edition of the Northern Student featured an opinion article, written by one of its staff writers, Kim Powell, downgrading the Peppercorn, a local restaurant. Her opinion piece caused several students to speculate whether the newspaper was suspended based on the article.

"The Northern Student was not suspended," said Bartlett. "The editorial staff of the Northern Student made a decision on their own to temporarily halt production."

According to Bartlett, BSU president Jon Quistgaard has not issued any public comments about the article.

"As far as I know there was no letter written from the president to the editor of the Northern Student," said Bartlett.

Students can visit the main BSU Web site, listen to student radio 90 FM, or watch KBSU-TV to receive university news until the Northern Student is back up and running. The BSU Information Desk said the school paper will be publishing a Homecoming edition in October.

"The paper has been a mainstay at the University for decades, and when it decides to renew publication it'll be welcomed back with enthusiasm."

Currently, the Northern Student office is locked and James Foster, editor-in-chief, is unavailable for comment.