ILLINOIS — A string of newspaper thefts at Illinois State University culminated last week with a larger theft of 1,000 copies of The Indy, a progressive student newspaper.
On Tuesday, editors of The Indy filed a complaint with campus police when approximately 1,000 copies of the paper’s Halloween issue were stolen over the course of the week.
Indy co-editor Anthony DiMaggio estimated the cost of the theft at around $100.
He said that the campus police said they are investigating, although "the people who are taking it more seriously are the ISU administration."
DiMaggio said that he does not know of any specific suspects so far, but said he believes that the theft was a result of the general ideology of the paper rather than a specific article since it has been a consistent problem.
"[Newspaper theft] has been a problem for years, it’s just a bigger issue now because they all disappeared at once," DiMaggio said.
"Throwing away quantities of any student newspaper is not only a free speech issue, it could also be a violation of the Code of Student Conduct," said Anne Newman, coordinator of community rights and responsibilities at ISU in a press release. "If ISU students are identified, our office will respond accordingly."
DiMaggio also said he sees the theft as censorship.
"If [the paper] is not getting out to the most traveled areas on campus, it’s counterproductive." he said. "We as editors spend 15-20 hours a week making the paper and it only takes 30 seconds to throw it out."
—Kim Peterson, SPLC staff writer