California student newspaper has rape article physically cut out

CALIFORNIA — An article about a campus rape was cut from nearly 500 copies of the student newspaper at Notre Dame de Namur University last week in what many at the private college in Belmont, Calif., believe was an effort to protect the rape victim’s identity.

The article appeared on the front page of the weekly campus newspaper, The Argonaut, that hit news stands Jan. 25. By the next morning, 500 issues had the story cut out, Editor Emeritus Erik Oeverndiek said. The newspaper prints 1,200 to 1,400 copies for the campus of about 1,800 students, he said.

The article described the alleged Jan. 20 rape of a female student on campus. Oeverndiek said the newspaper had received e-mails from students asking that the article not be printed because they believe it would identify the victim. The article named the female student’s dorm and offered a description of a man police are searching for in connection with the case, but it did not name the victim or offer any further details of her identity.

A university spokesman told the (San Mateo) Daily Journal that “the theory is it is one of the victim’s friends.”

An article in The Argonaut said the newspaper incident has been reported to the local police.

By Brian Hudson, SPLC staff writer