The Conspiracy

Yeshiva University and the YU Beacon part ways [Sex!]







As we first reported earlier today, the editors-in-chief of the YU Beacon, the most daring of Yeshiva University’s three (!) student newspapers met at 5 p.m. with a group of YU administrators. The administrators were threatening to cut off the Beacon’s funding in response to an article about a sexual encounter published by the Beacon.

“We are no longer a part of YU,” Simi Lampert, co-editor-in-chief of the Beacon told me moments after the meeting ended.

The group of administrators included University Dean of Students Victor Schwartz. Schwartz could not be reached for comment at this hour, but hopefully we’ll have a few more updates tomorrow.

“They tried to emphasize that they did not want to lose us as a YU publication, that they valued us, but if we put the article back online as it was, they couldn’t keep us as a publication,” she said.

According to Lampert, YU and the Beacon parted ways on good terms. “No one is upset. This is how it has to be for everyone to be happy,” she said.

The Beacon is an online-only publication, so their absolute budgetary needs are modest: Lampert said that $150 is all it takes for the Beacon to stay online for an entire year. Before tonight’s split, Lampert said, the Beacon received up to $500 per semester from YU, depending on actual expenses.

Updated: See our fully reported conclusion to this story.

9 Older Responses to “Yeshiva University and the YU Beacon part ways [Sex!]”

  1. Shoshana Marchand
    December 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    So where can we send contributions? Let’s be clear: Tznius need not mean ignorance!

  2. David A.M. Wilensky
    December 8, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    I’m sure Simi Lampert would be glad to receive your donations. I’ll point her to this comment so she can get in touch with you.

  3. Simi Lampert
    December 8, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    David is accurate. The Beacon is open to any and all contributions of all sorts. Although I’ll probably regret saying that.
    Please email me at

  4. DM
    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Your headlines are becoming increasingly immature and grotesque.

  5. Bukin86
    December 8, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Thank you YU for taking a firm stand!

  6. Fun Joel
    December 8, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    Unfortunately, this type of thing is nothing new at YU.

    I graduated from there in 1993, and when I was a senior, I helped resurrect a long-defunct literary magazine on YC campus called Kol. (Does it still exist?) The magazine included 2 stories that the administration deemed controversial. One confessional piece dealt with a student who was angry because a girl he used to be friends with lost her virginity to someone, then came crying to him, and all this after she had refused to sleep with him in the first place. The other (which also won as best piece of short fiction in a contest sponsored by the English Department and had been judged by the professors of the department) included various “foul language” spouted by one of the characters.

    As Editor-in-Chief of the publication, I chose to include both of the pieces, and after we printed Kol we distributed into the mailboxes of the student body. Once word got out about what was inside the magazine, all of the copies that students had not yet taken from their mailboxes were pulled and confiscated by the administration. I had a meeting with them and they offered (if I remember correctly — this WAS almost 20 years ago!) to pay to reprint them without the “offending” pieces. I refused. They claimed the issue was not what was included, but that the magazines included a copy of the YU logo on the back, and thus it seemed as if they were endorsing something they were not.

    Regardless, I had heard that since some students (obviously) had gotten to the magazines before the others were pulled, some had them, and passed them around and/or photocopied them to be passed between themselves. I also had (and still do in a box somewhere) a number of extra copies.

    Bottom line: I had a great time and experience at YU, but there have always been problems there. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. For what it’s worth. Sad, but true. (Okay, that seems like enough cliches!)

  7. John
    December 8, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    This whole thing was unbelievably overblown. Not that it surprises me in particular. But there you have it. Nevertheless, it was worth it for the headlines.

  8. Mayer Fertig
    December 9, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    One important point: YU didn’t cut anything or threaten to, despite what you may have read. The Stern College student council, which provided the funding, was going to remove it, but The Beacon editors said, “You can’t fire me, I quit,” and decided to part ways instead. Amicably. This is clear at the end of the story you just read, for readers who got that far. For reasons about which I won’t speculate, the writer declined to provide the “courtesy” of writing his headline or his story in such a way that this was immediately clear.The University put out this statement to interested parties. It might clear up some confusion: “Yeshiva University’s student newspapers are student-run activities. That hands-off approach held true in this case, as evidenced by the fact that the article in question appeared online. Once the essay was published, it was the president of the college’s student council who led the effort — at the overwhelming behest of her constituents, many of whom were deeply offended — to have the essay removed from The Beacon website.

    University administrators played the role of mediator in this matter, seeking an amicable solution to a difference between two groups of students — the student journalists of The Beacon, and the student council of Stern College.

    In the end, the editors of The Beacon made the decision to forego the funding that had been provided by the student council and become an independent entity.”

    Yeshiva University is proud of all of our students and the diversity of thought and opinion present on our campuses, as well as their commitment to embracing life through the prism of Torah values.

    December 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    I would be happy to lead a discussion on this topic. Y.U. needs someone to facilitate a conversion regarding having loyalty to Y.U. and creating a safe forum for students to discuss issues of concern. Y.U. is a fantastic school and I have spent most of my life there as either a student or teacher. I am greatly disturbed by the bad press this article has created. No other institution can match torah umadah which is communicated at Y.U. Let us graduates and students have pride in our fantastic place of Torah learning . RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

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YU student paper in danger after acknowledging existence of sex [Breaking]

Updated at 3:42 p.m. -- New Voices has now re-published the censored article in its entirety. At 5:00 p.m. today, Simi Lampert and...