NORTH DAKOTA — About 4,500 copies of North Dakota StateUniversity’s student paper disappeared from campus distribution racks last week.The March 28 issue of the Spectrum contained a special issue thatincluded a five-page list of the salaries of all university employees.
The paper printed 7,000 copies of the issue and distributed 4,500 at about6 p.m. on March 27. A Spectrum editor noticed a stack was missing from acampus building a few hours later. After refilling the rack, staffers found itwas empty again by the next morning.
Editor in Chief Stephen Baird said a number of university employees calledto complain about the paper publishing the salaries. Baird believes someone whowas angry that the salaries had been published stole the papers.
“I think it’s kind of funny that someone would try to stifle a media outletlike this,” Baird said. “It should be obvious that you can’t shut them up thatway, that it doesn’t work like that.”
Several readers’ comments on the Spectrum‘s Web site questioned ifthe disappearance of the papers really was a theft, considering the issuegarnered a lot attention.
“I still have friends enrolled at NDSU and once I read this I asked themabout it, and they all had copies of the paper, heck even my dad got a copy ofthe paper. I have my doubts about your claim,” wrote one reader.
But Baird said it is unusual for thousands of copies to be picked up onThursday evening because most students think the paper comes out on Friday.
“The timing is what makes it seem like a theft more than anythingelse.”
Baird filed a police report on Friday and university police are continuingto investigate the disappearance. Spectrum editors distributed about2,000 copies of the paper around campus on Friday without incident.
Baird estimated the cost of printing one issue of the paper is about$3,000, with additional costs to print special sections.