Catholic University officials play hide and seek with student paper

WASHINGTON,D.C. — Admissions staff at Catholic University of Americaremoved copies of the student newspaper Friday from a rack outside theadmissions office.

It was Odyssey Day, an important recruiting day atthe school for prospective students, and the front page story on campus crimemight not have left the university’s desired impression on its visitors,said Kate McGovern, editor in chief of TheTower.

The front-page article, titled ”UniversityReacts to Three-Day District Crime Wave,” quoted students who said theywere uncomfortable walking around the campus in light of the recent rash ofcrime in the area.

McGovern was promoting the newspaper for OdysseyDay when she heard that the papers had been removed, she said.

Anadmissions official told McGovern the office’s student staff wasresponsible for removing the papers, McGovern said. But she said when she askedfor the papers back, the admissions official was only willing to put 20 copiesof the paper back on the rack.

McGovern then demanded that all 150copies of the paper be returned immediately, a request the admissions officialcomplied with, McGovern said.

University spokesman Victor Nakas didnot return a call seeking comment.

But Nakas denied that theuniversity was trying to hide the campus crime problem in an article in The Washington Post. He saw the removalof the papers as a ”non-issue” since the papers were only taken fromone rack, according to the Post article.

”I just don’t think he understands the gravityof the issue,” McGovern said of Nakas’ comment. ”It’sone thing to cover up the fact that the food in the cafeteria is sub par, buttrying to cover-up the fact that there’s a good chance you’re gonnaget mugged on campus? That’sscary.”