Updates on past thefts





CALIFORNIA -- Last spring three students who confessed to stealing student newspapers at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles were punished by an internal campus disciplinary process. Tom Nelson, the Los Angeles Loyolan's adviser, said the paper's policy that the first newspaper is free and every additional newspaper costs $1 helped the campus police to take the theft more seriously. "If 3,000 papers are stolen [with the policy in place] you then have $2,999 worth of stolen property," Nelson said.

CALIFORNIA -- In April, a student confessed to defacing 300 copies of an election issue of The Daily Nexus, the University of California at Santa Barbara's student newspaper. The student paid the paper full restitution, valued by the newspaper staff at $640.

GEORGIA -- There has been no progress in finding who stole 1,100 copies of The Sting, the student newspaper at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. According to Editor in Chief C.J. Shrader, the Dean of Students questioned one suspect but the student denied the charges and the newspaper did not have definitive evidence that the student was guilty. "I wish I could have proven who did it and punished them, but so far, it looks like they might just get away with it," Shrader said.

INDIANA -- Last December an internal judiciary process at Vincennes University in Indianapolis punished fraternity members who officials say stole 1,600 copies of the student newspaper after it ran an article about the suspension of the fraternity for alcohol violations and alleged rape. The punishment included paying the cost of reprinting the paper and community service, according to Campus Police Chief James Jones.

INDIANA -- Information about a staff member who threw away an issue detailing the salaries of staff members on campus in Purdue University's student newspaper, The Exponent, was passed on to the county prosecutor last December. No charges were filed because the newspapers were free, said the county prosecutor's office.

NEW YORK -- One girl found responsible for stealing 1,000 copies of The Ithacan at Ithaca College called the newspaper to apologize for the theft. According to Ithacan Editor in Chief Beth Quill, the judicial process at the college is not public, so the newspaper staff never found out if the girl received further punishment.

NEW YORK -- No suspects were ever identified in last spring's student newspaper theft and vandalism case at the State University of New York at Binghamton. After a controversial April Fools' Day issue, 5,000 copies of Pipe Dream were stolen and the lock to the newspaper's office was glued shut. A new campus policy making it an offense to take more than one newspaper with the intention of suppressing its content went into effect this academic year. However, according to Editor in Chief Matthew Chayes, "The new rule probably wouldn't have changed things since the responsible individuals were never identified."

NEW JERSEY -- The staff of Rutgers University's student newspaper decided not to press charges against a law school secretary who trashed 300 copies of the March 21 edition of the Observer last spring. The secretary confessed and was reprimanded by school officials but retained her job, according to an article in The Star Ledger, a community newspaper.


reports, Winter 2005-06