TEXAS — About 250copies of the student newspaper The Ranger werestolen from racks at San Antonio College on April 18.
Media communications chair Marianne Odomfiled a police report April 19 about the newspapers being stolen from threebuildings on campus. According to The Ranger, thenewspapers’ absence from bins in three buildings was first noticed by photoadviser Tricia Buchhorn on April 18 and was confirmed when she found severalstacks of papers in a trashcan.
Police Chief Don Adams said aninvestigator is assigned to the case but there are no suspects. Adams saidnewspaper thefts at the college are very rare. He’s been with the departmentfor 11 years and can recall only one time newspapers were stolen and thrownaway.
The Ranger publishesweekly and has a distribution of 6,000 with 32 distribution boxes. Threereporters restocked the bins later that afternoon, according to The Ranger.
Editor in Chief Joshua Fechter said he’snot sure why the papers were stolen. The April 16 edition included informationfor new student orientation and stories meant to help incoming studentsnavigate the college.
Fechter said there was nothing in theprint edition that would prompt a theft. However, a recent online storyreceived criticism from students and faculty. Speech Professor John Skinnerdied after suffering a heart attack in his office. Fechter said the newspaperpublished a story and accompanying photo of Skinner on a gurney near anambulance.
The photo and story received severalcritical comments.
“We do consider this a form ofcensorship,” Fechter said. “We fight hard every day to provide accurateinformation and we don’t take this lightly.”
Fechter said students, faculty and staffon campus regularly interact with the newspaper, writing letters to the editor.
Fechter said if the culprits wanted tohurt the newspaper, they failed. Who they really hurt was the community,Fechter said.
“We provide information to the entirecommunity,” Fechter said. “Whoever stole those papers withheld information fromthe community and that’s a serious offense.”
By Emily Summars, SPLC staff writer