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Kitchen Fire

Posted 6/20/2001

Just when we thought the heat was off over at Baltimore International College (BIC), things are once again on the boil at the city's school of the culinary arts.

If you recall, the Nose recently described how a group of BIC students found themselves in a kettle of fish over efforts to publish an independent newsletter (The Nose, May 30). The college's administration didn't relish the students' scathing editorial denouncing a suggestive school promotional flier as "despicable," or their calling the newsletter Toques and Ties--a name the school claims rights to--and hauled them before an administrative hearing. We reported that the whole enchilada ended with a whimper: A provost apologized for the offending flier, and the students got a slap on the wrist (an assignment to write a five-page paper on "personnel strategies"). But perhaps we reported too soon.

The latest whiff of BIC scandal came from a student at an altogether different school: Jon Schuller, editor of the University of Maryland, College Park campus paper The Diamondback. In a June 14 editorial, Schuller weighed in on behalf of his fellow student journalists. He also reported that the Toques and Ties editor's sentence had been stiffened to probation through the end of the fall semester (putting her at risk for getting kicked out of school) after the City Paper story ran, apparently punishment for airing the school's dirty aprons. (This time around we're withholding the editor's name, in hopes of sparing the poor student further retribution.) The plucky Diamondback also reported that, according to state records, BIC does not own trademark rights to the name Toques and Ties. So there.

We rang up BIC brass in an effort to confirm The Diamondback's account, but none of our messages were returned by press time. (Schuller, who got the probation story from BIC student sources, says his paper met with a similar cone of silence when contacting the school.) The whole mess leaves us with an unpleasant taste in our mouths.

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