FLORIDA — About2,600 copies of Florida Atlantic University’s student newspaper were stolenover three days this week after members of the staff removed posters thatcriticized the paper.
University Press Editor-in-ChiefMariam Aldhahi said the newspaper learned of the posters Monday morning.Aldhahi referred to them as “hate letters.”
The posters heavily criticized the paper’s advertising,depth of reporting, design choices and journalistic integrity.
“The UP is thatteenage girl everyone knows with cheap taste,” the letter reads, “who talksabout people behind their backs and is so desperate for attention that she’llget drunk, strip and say absolutely anything, no matter how wrong or asinine,then vomits on your couch and never apologizes.”
The posters were hung above most newspaper bins on campusand on the floor in front of them, Aldhahi said. The posters were covered intape, presumably to protect from rain.
Staff members removed the posters after receiving permissionfrom Shannon Clouts, the university’s director of space utilization andanalysis. Clouts said her office would have removed them if the UP staff did not.
Between noon and 4 p.m. Monday, “over a thousand” copies ofthe newspaper were stolen, Aldhahi said. The staff looked around in trash binsnearby, but found no trace of the missing papers.
She said another 1,600 copies were stolen Wednesday after anew issue hit stands Tuesday.
UP, a weeklypublication, releases 4,100 copies every Tuesday. Aldhahi said there areusually between 500 and 600 copies left in the bins when the next issue ispublished.
Student Media Director Michael Gaede said he didn’t want tospeculate on who the culprit was, or even if the posters and theft wereconnected. He said both issues were among the most well-done he has seen.
Aldhahi filed a police report with the campus police Monday.She said the staff is working with police to catch who is responsible.
UP staff membersbegan preemptively collecting the remaining papers Wednesday so they couldredistribute them later.
These two incidents mark the third and fourth times that UP has had its papers stolen in recentyears. Last time, Aldhahi said, the thief was trying to protect a facultymember from scrutiny.
No one has taken responsibility. Aldhahi and Gaede said theyintend to press charges if police catch the person responsible.
University police Lt. Larry Ervin said investigators haveleads, but there are no suspects. He declined to elaborate.