LOUISIANA –The majority of the copies of NichollsState University’s student-run newspaper,The NichollsWorth, have been found returned totheir stands around campus, Stephen Hermann, the university’s director ofstudent publications, said on Wednesday.
About 4,000 copies of the paper were takenthe morning of Nov. 8, shortly after being dropped in the stands. Staffers andadministrators suspect the motivation for the theft was an article reporting thearrest of a student earlier that week on rape charges.
Hermann said six individuals — fourmen and two women — have been identified by the school’sadministration in the theft, but administrators have not yet released thestudents’ names.
Eugene Dial, vice president of studentaffairs and enrollment services, said his office has interviewed the studentsand is waiting for a complaint to be filed by the newspaper before thedisciplinary process can move forward.
Dial said potential punishments can varygreatly, from written admonition to expulsion. Dial said his office woulddetermine the guilt or innocence of the individuals and issue any punishments.Any appeal would be brought to the president of the university.
Hermann said neither the university nor thenewspaper were planning any legal charges.
Dial said the university was taking thematter seriously.
“It appears that it was a spontaneousact they did without thinking,” Dial said. “If you disagree with anewspaper you don’t interfere with the right of speech, you respond withspeech.”
The weekly newspaper’s latest issuehit the stands Thursday without incident.
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