Student papers stolen at SUNY-Brockport

Staffers suspect article on student government impeachment might have prompted theft

NEW YORK -- More than 2,000 copies of the Feb. 6 edition of the student paper at the State University of New York at Brockport were stolen over a period of five days.

On Feb. 7, about 1,500 copies of the weekly paper, The Stylus, were stolen in the middle of the day from a distribution rack in the student union. All but a few dozen were recovered from trash cans around the union and put back in the rack, Editor in Chief Laura Luettger said.

Staffers believe the theft is related to a controversial article about the impeachment of the student government's vice president, she said.

The article contained information from a private student government executive session, said Chris Dailey, chief of staff of the Brockport Student Government.

"Someone leaked the information to the paper and revealed a lot of information that wasn't supposed to be public," he said.

But Dailey said he thought the article was fair.

The Student Press Law Center left phone and e-mail messages with Student Government Vice President Randall Franklin on Tuesday afternoon requesting comment; Franklin had not responded by Wednesday evening.

University police referred comment about the investigation to the college's communications department.

"The university police [department] is investigating right now," said spokesman Nicholas Mascari. "That's about where it is right now."

Mascari said he did not know if police had any suspects in the investigation.

University Police Chief Robert Kehoe did not say if a surveillance camera in the student union caught the theft on tape, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

About 100 papers were stolen on Feb. 8 from the fine arts building. Some of the papers were found in the trash but could not be redistributed because they were in bad condition. More than 500 additional papers were taken Feb. 11 from the student union; 70 of those were later recovered, Luettger said.

About 5,000 copies of the Stylus are distributed per week at a printing cost of about $1 per newspaper. At least 600 copies have not been recovered, she said.

"I'm still upset that they were taken," Luettger said. "I'm more shocked that someone could actually do this."

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