College Newspaper Suit

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--Nearing the end of a three-year fight with the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Daily, an undergraduate newspaper, now is waiting for a judge's decision on its lawsuit against the university's president and regents for violation of constitutional rights.

The controversy began in 1979, when the Minneapolis campus newspaper printed a humor issue, which caused "a lot of public outcry among readers because of" religious and ethnic jokes, a current editor said earlier this week.

In 1980, the board of regents voted to end funding the newspaper with money from students' term bills. The Daily then sued the university's president and each of the regents for punishing the newspaper for content published and violating freedom of expression. Christopher J. Ison '83, current editor-in-chief, said earlier this week.

The newspaper is also suing for violation of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection" clause, because the newspapers at each of the other three Minnesota campuses still receive funding from the university, said Ison.

The suit by the Daily--whose district court trial ended last month--asks for a return to university funding and for replacement of the funds lost since 1980, Ison said. A decision is expected in early 1983.

The university argues that the board of regents did not cut funding to punish the newspaper, but rather because many students asked for a choice in funding.