Catholic University officials play hide and seek with student paper

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Admissions staff at Catholic University of America removed copies of the student newspaper Friday from a rack outside the admissions office.

It was Odyssey Day, an important recruiting day at the school for prospective students, and the front page story on campus crime might not have left the university's desired impression on its visitors, said Kate McGovern, editor in chief of The Tower.

The front-page article, titled ''University Reacts to Three-Day District Crime Wave,'' quoted students who said they were uncomfortable walking around the campus in light of the recent rash of crime in the area.

McGovern was promoting the newspaper for Odyssey Day when she heard that the papers had been removed, she said.

An admissions official told McGovern the office's student staff was responsible for removing the papers, McGovern said. But she said when she asked for the papers back, the admissions official was only willing to put 20 copies of the paper back on the rack.

McGovern then demanded that all 150 copies of the paper be returned immediately, a request the admissions official complied with, McGovern said.

University spokesman Victor Nakas did not return a call seeking comment.

But Nakas denied that the university was trying to hide the campus crime problem in an article in The Washington Post. He saw the removal of the papers as a ''non-issue'' since the papers were only taken from one rack, according to the Post article.

''I just don't think he understands the gravity of the issue,'' McGovern said of Nakas' comment. ''It's one thing to cover up the fact that the food in the cafeteria is sub par, but trying to cover-up the fact that there's a good chance you're gonna get mugged on campus? That's scary.''

Catholic University of America, news, The Tower, Washington D.C.