Editor’s Letter: Want to know what the university is hiding? You need over $6,000

The UP requested reports from the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the public records office is attempting to charge us over $6,000.


Eston Parker III

The breezeway at FAU. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Savannah Peifer

Only two months after outgoing Editor-in-Chief Kendall Little and I threatened to sue the university for sexual misconduct records, they are attempting to keep more records from us. 

Kendall is graduating on Dec. 16, and I believe they think the UP will stop making public records requests and holding officials accountable. 

As the incoming Editor-in-Chief, I can assure you that is not true, and we will continue fighting for what we have legal rights to. Even if this includes contacting an attorney, just as we did when the university refused to release sexual misconduct records.

On Oct. 13, Kendall requested finalized Title IX reports from the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI). The OEI office is responsible for ensuring the university upholds a campus culture free of discrimination. They handle claims of racism, ableism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. Title IX is a federal law prohibiting sexual harrassment and violence within all public schools. 

On Oct. 20, I requested all complaints submitted to the OEI office. On Dec. 5, the public records office  notified me they would charge us over $6,000 for the records. We’d either have to pay it or sacrifice the reports.

These records could be complaints on different types of discrimination, such as race, gender, sexuality. They would also outline the steps the university took in investigating and holding perpetrators accountable. 

The invoices state they are charging us for 72 hours of work at $87.98 per hour, coming to a total of $6,334.56 just to search for the records we seek. For all we know, that search could yield no results, and the cost is more than students pay for 12 credits hours of in-state tuition.

This is a departure from their October strategy, which included saying they cannot provide the documents we’re looking for and not offering to redact them — which is also illegal.

As a university that prides itself on diversity, I believe they should be ecstatic to show their students that the university takes OEI reports seriously. However, the university has proved, once again, they do not care about protecting their students at all. 

What are they hiding in these records that they need to charge over $6,000? 

Two former UP editors have requested the same records and received them in previous years, free of charge. No one from the office has explained the difference between then and now.  

I have requested numerous times to meet with Joshua Glanzer, associate vice president of media relations, and Public Records Specialist Rachelle Hollingsworth.

Rather than discuss the issues, they have ignored multiple emails, only responding to say they cannot meet until January due to “other priorities.”

If university officials are not willing to sit with me and discuss different options to get these records, I will again contact an attorney via the Society of Professional Journalists. 

It seems that the university only responds to legal action, and I am not afraid to hold them accountable. 

FAU is choosing, once again, to protect people who are a danger to the students and the UP will not tolerate it. Why do they repeatedly protect these people over you? 

If you would like to support the UP as we fight for these records, use your voice through social media and demand the release of the OEI reports. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter for updates on the issue: @upressonline.

Savannah Peifer is the social media manager at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or DM her @ginger.savvy.