Disappearance of magazine with racy cover raises theft questions

CALIFORNIA — About 800 copies of a student magazine flew off the racks last week at FullertonCollege causing magazine staffers to speculate they were stolen. Police are notso sure.

Were hundreds of students so allured by the half-naked womanon the cover of the Torch that theyeach had to have a copy? Or was one person so appalled by the near-nudity thathe or she decided no one should have a copy?

The cover of the magazine editors say was stolen.

The magazine had a colorphoto of a woman posing on a stripper pole wearing a crop-top and an ultra-miniskirt to illustrate an article about college women who are exotic dancers. Thearticle was called, “Not your mom’s part-time job: students strip topay for school.”

A student editor reported the incident tocampus police, but Emilio Perez, director of Campus Safety, said it does notappear the magazines were stolen. He said the eye-catching cover caused themagazine to be more popular than usual.

“It was a popular article that attracted a lot ofattention,” Perez said. “Usually those [news racks] are full, butwhen that came out, you could see lots of people picking them up and readingthem.”

Torch adviserJay Sidel said he and his staff do not think it is possible that the sexy photodrew in hundreds of new readers.

“While the cover isintriguing, it didn’t fly off the news racks that quickly,” Sidelsaid in an e-mail. “The 700-800 magazines disappeared from 14 news racksaround campus within the 48 hours. Many of the students don’t even know wehave a campus magazine. Even though we don’t have substantial proof thatsomebody did it, it would be hard not to come to that conclusion.”

Torch staff writer LizzieDonovan said she suspects someone stole hundreds of magazines because theyobjected to the risqué cover.

“We knew some people weregoing to get upset, but we didn’t think anything like this wouldhappen,” Donovan said.

Donovan said the cost to print theTorch was $3,000 and it took an entiresemester to produce.

“We spent so much time on thispublication and we couldn’t wait for people to see our work,”Donovan said. “Then all of a sudden it’s gone. It really upsetsme.”

Perez said when a Torch staff member came to Campus Safety to report the incident, an officertold him that the incident lacked “elements of atheft.”

The magazines were free and no one has any proof theywere stolen, Perez said.

Based on what was reported, “there wasnot a theft,” Perezsaid.

by Emily Walker, SPLC staff writer