Suspect admits shredding 800 copies of Emporia State U. newspaper

KANSAS — "Active protest" against the studentnewspaper was the motivation behind last month’s shredding of800 copies of The Bulletin at Emporia State University.

A student, whose name has not been released, "came forwardand took full responsibility" for the incident a couple ofdays after it happened, Vice President of Student Affairs DianeBailiff said.

Residents of a dorm encountered about a foot deep of shreddednewspapers the morning of March 1 with a note stating "Thisis a TEST! This paper is the same crap you read in The Bulletin!Do your part to recycle! Join us!"

The Bulletin suspected the shredding was in responseto an editorial in the Feb. 25 edition of the paper about a drugbust on campus, but Residential Life and Housing Director JimWilliams found out otherwise.

"What I got from my brief conversations with him was thathe was against the concept of what the whole paper stood for.It was active protest," Williams said. "I don’t understandhow you protest free speech by taking away free speech, but they’relearning."

The university is considering this both an act of vandalismand protest, Bailiff said, and is waiting to see if the city attorneywill decide to prosecute.

"We take it very seriously," Bailiff said. "Therehas been cooperation and collaboration on the part of all theoffices involved and the Bulletin charged our office withhandling the situation."

The university is waiting for spring break to end this weekbefore meeting with the individual to "determine our sanctionon the university’s part," Bailiff said.

Visit our Newspaper Theft Forum, featuring a checklist of things to do before, during and after a theft, along with our past coverage of theft incidents.Read our related coverage.