TEXAS– The Texas Christian University student who thought thestudent newspaper, the Daily Skiff, is better recycled than read awaitsjudgment from the university’s judicial review board after dumping morethan 1,300 copies of the newspaper in recycling bins around campus.
Charles Beecherl, an entrepreneurial business major, told the DailySkiff he dumped the Sept. 23 papers because it went too far in publishing aphoto of a professor involved in a physical altercation with anotherprofessor.
Before midday, the papers started to disappear, only to be found in nearbyrecycling bins. Robert Bohler, student publications director, became aware ofthe theft by a studentreporter and began looking in recycling binsaround the administration office for the missing papers.
“Normally, when someone steals papers, they want to get rid of themquickly. So, they dump them nearby,” he said.
Bohler took the vice chancellor of student affairs to the dumpsite where hehad found a couple hundred papers.
“I told him what happened and showed him the evidence. And then, wecalled the police,” Bohler said.
Bailey Shiffler, editor in chief of The Daily Skiff, said shereceived a text message Tuesday morning that a lot of papers were missing.Bohler filed a report with campus police Tuesday, Shiffler said. The paper ran a story about the incident in the paper the next day.
On Sept. 25, Beecherl turned himself in to campus police and admitted to stealing the papers. The police sent him to Bohler.
“He was sitting in the guy’s class, opened the paper and wasstunned,” said Bohler. “When he left the class, he had some freetime and decided to dump the papers in his free time, because the professor wasone of his favorites.”
The Daily Skiff recovered the 1,361 missing copies out of a 6,000circulation.
On the editorial page of the Daily Skiff, a notice states that afterthe first free copy, each additional copy is 50 cents, which is to be purchasedat the newspaper office.
Bohler said the amount of damages begins to add up from the more than 1,300stolen papers.
“The printing cost and making good on discounts to advertisers inthat day’s newspaper makes the costs substantially more than the 1,300papers,” he said,
Bohler expects the case to be handled as a disciplinary action, not acriminal one.
“I’ve made it clear that we suffered,” said Bohler.
“There are real-world consequences for stealing papers.”
Shiffler said she did not think the act could be consideredcensorship.
“Beecherl isn’t an authority figure or official. However, I dobelieve the effect was the same,” she said in an e-mail. “Studentswho wanted to read the paper weren’t able to, and that’s the problem we had withwhat he did.”
The Daily Skiff hopes to receive around $700, which is about 50cents for each stolen paper, however, no award has been issued yet.