Three newspapers that experienced thefts last spring had varying degrees of success when attempting to punish the culprits.
At Wichita State University, student government representatives openly admitted to taking 3,000 copies of The Sunflower in February in an attempt to prove that too many copies were printed. The Kansas university disciplined those responsible, but refused to release details of the punishment.
Managing editor Melissa Angle said the paper was disappointed with the university’s unwillingness to disclose the outcome of the proceedings, and she said, it sends the wrong message to other students.
Just convincing campus police and the administration to look into a newspaper theft has been a challenge for the editors of The Gamecock at the University of South Carolina.
Not only did the university turn its head when the student government was accused of stealing 750 copies of the Feb. 21 issue, but administrators have failed to reassure the paper that future thefts will be prosecuted or prevented.
‘The university didn’t do anything to prevent future thefts from happening, and pretty much took the attitude of we had it coming,’ former editor Brock Vergakis said.
The administration told the paper it refused to prosecute because the majority of the newspapers were found in trash bins and were returned for distribution.
The situation was a little different at the University of Texas at Austin, where the students responsible for taking 2,000 copies of The Daily Texan in the spring were ordered to pay the newspaper $500.
Following an investigation by the university, the students were ordered to pay 25 cents for each stolen copy, the stated price of additional papers.