Copies of student paper taken from newsstands at Brigham Young

UTAH -- An unknown number of copies of The Daily Universe, Brigham Young University's student newspaper, were taken from newsstands earlier this month and dumped into recycling bins.

Daily Universe employees received an e-mail at about 2 p.m. on June 10 saying that someone was seen throwing copies of the newspaper into recycling bins at about 11 a.m. that morning.

"We sent our editors out to see if it was true," said Kaylene Armstrong, The Daily Universe adviser. "All of the papers in the outdoor racks and inside of the student union were thrown neatly into recycling bins."

The newspaper prints about 10,000 copies, Monday through Friday, during the summer. The newspaper filed a report with Brigham Young University Police but has not heard of any suspects. BYU police department officials did not respond to requests for comment by Friday afternoon.

Armstrong said editors at the Daily Universe took thousands of newspapers out of adjacent recycling bins and put them back on newsstands, although she acknowledged that there was no way to know just how many, if any, were stolen.

"The biggest problem was that most of our papers are picked up between 7:30 and 9 a.m. The individual was spotted throwing away newspapers at 11 a.m.," Armstrong said. "We don't know how many people didn't get to read the paper."

On the front page that day was an article, titled "Suffering in Silence," dealing with the psychological effects of rape, including post-traumatic stress disorder and bulimia. Armstrong believes the article was the reason behind the incident.

Within the original article, an individual who had experienced bulimia was quoted by name as an example of what eating disorders rape victims may develop. The problem, Armstrong said, was that the individual had not reported being raped.

Armstrong does not believe the reporter had intentionally misrepresented the individual as a rape victim but rather worded the article in a way that incorrectly suggested it.

The Daily Universe provides copies of its articles and full PDF copies of each issue online. Armstrong said that the individual's name and quotation were taken out of the PDF copy of the newspaper and the stand-alone version of the article was deleted from the newspaper's Web site.

The Daily Universe ran a story about the theft in the next day's newspaper. In the June 11 article, Joshua Flake, Daily Universe news editor, wrote, "If somebody has a problem with the paper, they should write a letter or e-mail or call an editor." 

Brigham Young University, news, The Daily Universe, Utah