Police investigate student government members in connection with theft of campus newspapers

KANSAS — Wichita State University police are investigatingallegations that members of the student government stole 3,000copies of the Feb. 19 issue of the student newspaper the morningof Feb. 20 in an effort to prove the paper’s funding should becut.

Todd Kelley, a student government association senator, returnedabout 1,000 copies of the paper to The Sunflower officeFeb. 23, after he wheeled a stack of them into the SGA campusissues committee meeting the night of Feb. 21. According to Sunflowereditor Teshia Morris, Kelly wanted to show there were too manycopies of the newspaper available, and because of this, the paper’sfunding should be cut.

Kelley could not be reached for comment.

SGA members were beginning the process of determining fundingfor student groups for the next year when the theft occurred.The Sunflower gets about 40 percent of its funding fromthe SGA, according to Morris.

Morris said the paper has a printed policy stating that thefirst copy is free, but each additional copy costs $1.

Staff members filed a police report, and Morris said if campuspolice, "decide it’s criminal, they’ll pass it along to thedistrict attorney," Morris said. The dean of students willalso be able to discipline those responsible regardless of whetherthe district attorney presses charges.

Campus police are investigating the theft, and the SGA announcedit will also conduct an internal investigation.

Morris said the SGA granted the paper the funding it requestedfor next year, about $119,000.