MASSACHUSETTS — Framingham State College students who admitted to stealing between 800 and 1,000 copies of the student newspaper, The Gatepost, are reimbursing the paper, said Mari Megias, a university spokeswoman. The publication estimates the cost at $630.
Megias said she would not reveal what, if any, other punishment the students received, citing a university policy to share judicial outcomes and sanctions only with victims of violence and/or sexual assault.
But area newspapers reported that two women, whose names were not released, reimbursed the newspaper for the cost of reprinting 500 copies of the April 27 edition after they took almost half the press run because they thought they looked fat in the front-page photograph. The photo depicts seven women bearing their midriffs to reveal the message “I (heart) N-O-O-N-A-N” in support of one of their friends on the lacrosse team.
Gatepost adviser Desmond McCarthy said in May that suspicion of a theft arose because the small public commuter campus of 3,000 students rarely runs out of papers so quickly on distribution day, a Friday. Distribution bins that normally would still hold more than 100 papers days after printing were completely empty by day’s end.
One student, identified in the Boston Globe as Jennifer Carsillo, confessed to stealing the papers and returned about 130 copies to the police after her roommate found the papers in their dorm room.
“I just kind of got caught up in the moment and grabbed a whole bunch of copies,” she said, according to the article. “We didn’t think it was a big deal.”
University officials drafted an unsigned apology last month and, with approval from some of the women in the photograph, submitted it to the newspaper for publication, according to an article in The Metro West Daily News.
But Gatepost editors refused to print the administration’s apology, saying in a May 11 editorial that “the names of the students were not released with their statement, thus making it unsuitable for reprint in The Gatepost‘s pages.”
“But we would also like to point out that these women could have shown their displeasure with the photo by using instead of abusing the very amendment they have violated with their actions,” the editorial said. “They could have simply written an opinion expressing their unhappiness about the photo, which we would have published, and the college community — not the whole world — could have made the decision about whom to support.”