After controversial sorority story, Arkansas State papers disappear

ARKANSAS — TheArkansas State University Herald joinedthe list of alleged 2011 newspaper theft victims March 17 when issuesdisappeared from stands two hours after distribution.

Herald Editor-in-ChiefSarah Campbell said the paper contained an article about an email from someoneclaiming to be an Alpha Gamma Delta sorority member to other membersacknowledging the use of fake IDs and giving advice about how to obtain alcoholif members weren’t 21. The email was obtained from an anonymous source.

“That was really the most controversial story,” Campbellsaid. “Most of the other stories—we’ve done articles on them before.”

Campbell said the paper was distributed about 3 p.m. and wasmissing at several locations by 5:30 p.m.

“We discovered about six locations didn’t have any papers,”Campbell said. “It was about a third of our circulation.”

Campbell said the newspaper’s adviser, Bonnie Thrasher,immediately contacted campus police.

“I told my staff that if you see anyone taking papers [to]take pictures, but don’t approach anyone about it, and call [campus police],”Campbell said.

Thrasher, who has advised the Herald for 18 years, said she didn’t run into any problems withcampus police.

“They’re always cooperative. This is the 10th or 11th timewe’ve had the newspaper stolen here,” Thrasher said.

The Herald hasn’thad a newspaper theft incident in more than four years, Thrasher said.

Thrasher said she followed Student Press Law Centerguidelines about how to react to the theft, reprinting 2,000 copies and sendingstudents to look for missing copies in trash cans or recycle bins.

“In this case we also posted a breaking story online aboutthe theft and then posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts also,” Thrashersaid.

Thrasher said campus police have found students inpossession of stolen newspapers in the past and although she doesn’t presscharges, she does make them repay the printing costs and write a letter ofapology that is printed in the next issue.

Campbell said the university’s campus police were reviewingsecurity camera footage for leads.

Arkansas State’s campus police and the spokesperson forAlpha Gamma Delta’s international headquarters did not respond to attempts forcomment.