A student newspaper has been banned from distributing copies at the university’s halls of residence after publishing a controversial story.
Forge Press, the University of Sheffield’s student paper, said this week’s edition had been banned from the student villages and other university-owned residences.
Those who work on the publication were also told they were not welcome at events at residences during moving-in weekend at the university.
It comes after the paper published a story about the university setting up a subsidiary company to employ staff in the Accommodation and Commercial Services department, resulting in lower pay for workers.
Forge Press editor Alisha Rouse said: “The University’s attempt to censor its own student newspaper is the worst attempt at damage limitation I have ever seen by a media team.
“We owe students a duty of care to expose abuses of power at the expense of student welfare. This poor attempt at gagging has only made us pursue this with more vigour.”
The paper’s story reports that the subsidiary company, which would be known as Sheffield Trading Services, will be used this month to employ all new staff for ACS but staff would not be paid using the university’s pay model.
Jacqui Cameron, head of marketing and communications for Accommodation and Commercial Services, said: “Following discussions with the editor about the proposed story, we had serious concerns relating to the article.
“We believe our new students should not be faced with misinformed and misrepresented stories about our university upon first arriving in their new home. We believe this could damage their experience at what should be a positive time.
“Our concerns relate to unbalanced reporting and these have been proven founded in the article published, which gives us no opportunity to present the correct facts and explanation of what is a highly complex topic.
“The journalist has clearly shown a lack of understanding or carried out a full investigation of the topic prior to publication and has presented a very one sided report.
“We recognise that Forge Press is a valuable university society and we will continue to support its distribution in the Student Villages.”
The department told Forge Press that STS had been established to operate new hospitality and retail services which would create new jobs.
It said the casual rate of pay was lower than that offered by the university, but was the same as that available in the Students’ Union and those under 21 would be paid higher than the National Minimum Wage.