Fraternity members accused of stealing newspaper exposing frat’s suspension

INDIANAPOLIS — Approximately 1,600 copies of the Vincennes University student newspaper were stolen last month, the day the Trailblazer published an article exposing a fraternity’s suspension for alcohol use at rush events and implicating the fraternity in an alleged rape.

Editor in Chief Ryan Wilson said he received a call from a staff reporter on the afternoon of Nov. 20, saying all the papers in her dormitory were missing. Wilson said he checked all the dormitories on campus, the library, the humanities building and the physical education complex. All of the newspaper bins were empty.

The paper filed a police report that evening, Wilson said. The only information the paper could tell police was the amount of papers that were stolen, he said. The paper has a press run of 2,000.

Two days later, anonymous sources began coming forward, saying individual members of the fraternity were seen stealing the newspapers on Nov. 20, Wilson said. The sources made it clear that the theft was not an activity sanctioned by the fraternity. Trailblazer adviser Mark Stalcup said the culprits have been identified. The police are still deciding whether to punish the culprits through the university or through the city police, Stalcup said.

University Chief of Police Jim Jones did not return calls for comment.

Wilson said the staff decided to reprint the issue last week, adding an editorial section to wrap around the paper.

“The Trailblazer will not take this action sitting down,” the editorial stated. “The Trailblazer is not only defending freedom of speech for the publication, but also for our readers, who we consider to be our most valuable asset.”