Loyola drops charges against student journalist


Maroon File Photo

Loyola University New Orleans, as seen from St. Charles Ave.

Ava Acharya, Managing Editor for Digital

Loyola leadership has reversed course on all disciplinary actions against Maroon reporter Kloe Witt, wrote Interim University President, The Rev. Justin Daffron S. J., in a letter to Witt.

Daffron wrote in the letter sent at 4 p.m. today, April 17, that Loyola’s student affairs properly enforced the student code of conduct, but “it is clear that the student reporter was doing her job as we taught her to do it.”

Witt was originally found responsible for violating Loyola’s student code of conduct for recording a conversation she had with Loyola police following the arrest of a student on campus.

The university said that Witt had breached the expectation of privacy within LUPD’s office by recording the conversation. However, Witt said that she identified herself as a reporter and did not believe there was an expectation of privacy while conducting an interview.

Witt had appealed the decision, which was denied.

Daffron added that it is his responsibility, as interim university president, to ensure that Loyola’s student code of conduct aligns with standard journalistic practices and laws, and he is working with leaders in student affairs, the Mass Communication department, and The Maroon in order to meet this standard.

“I offer my personal apologies to all involved for not engaging in the case sooner,” Daffron wrote.

All of Witt’s charges have been dropped, and she will no longer be required to write an essay or pay a fine. A warning will also not be placed on her student conduct record.

“I am glad that the university has decided to change their mind,” Witt said. “I’m grateful for all of the support I’ve received and the encouragement from people not only in New Orleans, but around the country. It’s a shame this had to happen in the first place.”