Ohio State University punishes newspaper thieves

OHIO — Ohio State University punished eight students,including the former student government president, for their involvementin the theft of approximately 10,000 copies of the student newspaper,but declined to push for a criminal investigation.

Former student government President Robert "B.J."Shruerger resigned Feb. 15 after admitting to participating inthe theft of the Feb. 5 issue of The Lantern, which featureda front-page article about the misuse of $2,250 of student governmentfunds for a private dinner.

According to Chris Newmarker, editor of The Lantern,the university’s punishment means the students will not be ableto hold any student government positions for the rest of theirtime at Ohio State, will have to apologize to The Lantern andthe undergraduate student government, and will have to reimbursethe paper $3,200 for lost advertising revenue.

In addition, the students will be required to perform 20 hoursof community service for The Lantern, including paintingthe newsroom.

Newmarker said he was satisfied with the outcome.

"I think they got what they deserved," Newmarkersaid. "I am looking forward to taking pictures of them paintingour newsroom."

Some organizations, however, have criticized Ohio State administratorsfor refusing to turn over the names of the students involved inthe theft to the local police.

The Missouri School of Journalism chapter of the Society ofProfessional Journalists sent an e-mail to Ohio State PresidentWilliam "Brit" Kirwan asking him to reconsider thatdecision and seek criminal charges against the newspaper thieves.

Daniel Carter, vice president of Security on Campus, a nationalcampus crime watchdog organization, also wrote a letter to Kirwancriticizing the decision and urging him to "take steps toensure that in the future potentially criminal matters are referredto the police."

Newmarker said he will not press for criminal charges.

"I am satisfied that the students responsible have beenpunished for the damage," he said.

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Thievesswipe thousands of papers from Ohio State campus (2/8/01)