JMU students charged for reporting news

Associated Press
Tuesday, October 27, 2009; 11:06 AM

Two university students are facing trespassing and disorderly conduct charges after they entered a campus dormitory to interview students for a news article.

The Virginia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on Tuesday called on James Madison University to drop the charges against Tim Chapman, 21, and Katie Hibson, 19. It says officials acted "beyond reason." Hibson is a reporter for The Breeze, the twice-weekly campus newspaper, and Chapman is its editor in chief.

The university's Office of Judicial Affairs issued the charges after a resident adviser and the Hillside Hall director told them to leave as they interviewed residents about a "Peeping Tom" incident.

University spokesman Don Egle did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

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