The Oklahoma Daily editorial board writes:
Today, The Oklahoma Daily is suing OU for withholding records that we believe are public under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. We hope this lawsuit will serve as a precedent for colleges and universities where administrators are misinterpreting an important federal law which, in turn, keeps information from the public.
Access to records is essential for journalists to successfully keep a watch on government and public institutions, and for this reason The Daily is joining a lawsuit that was originally filed by journalism senior Joey Stipek in May 2013. Stipek, who is currently the special projects editor at The Daily, sued OU President David Boren and the director of OU’s Open Records Office when the director wouldn’t release students’ parking ticket records.
Stipek filed a request for the records in fall 2012 to investigate whether the university was granting preferential parking ticket appeals to any individuals on campus. The Open Records Office denied the request, claiming the records are protected under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.