Wisconsin-Oshkosh Greeks take newspapers for floats

WISCONSIN — Members of six student organizations atthe University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh have found a new use for theirstudent-run newspaper.These students are now using the weekly newspaperfor building homecoming parade floats.More than 3,000 copies of twoseparate editions of The Advance-Titan were stolen from high-trafficdistribution sites on campus during a two-week period earlier thismonth.Editor in chief William Schwulst said during the past two yearsfraternities, sororities and other campus groups have made a habit of helpingthemselves to nearly half of the paper’s 8,000-circulationdistribution.”Homecoming comes up and organizations are buildingfloats,” Schwulst said. “They see the free newspapers and grab 500 to 600 fromthe news rack.”Prior to the thefts, newspaper staff members attempted toease the problems with student organizations by offering old editions to use forfloat-building materials.”We saved old issues – thousands – stored forthat purpose,” Schwulst said. “We told the groups about it, but the messagedidn’t stick.”Schwulst plans on meeting with the assistant dean ofstudents to discuss the recurring problem and brainstorm possible solutions forchanging students’ attitudes toward newspaper theft, he said.He alsoplans on submitting a bill to the university for the estimated costs ofadvertising and printing losses with hopes of reimbursement.A policydealing with this issue needs to be addressed in the student handbook, Schwulstsaid. Rules need to be established regarding mass theft.”Be it formalice or shortsightedness – [theft] still has an effect on us,” Schwulstsaid.