Sometime between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning last week, hundreds of copies of the Chimes newspapers were found in at least three trash receptacles around campus.
Friday around noon, Chimes staff members became aware that distribution bins in Yochum Hall, Battelle Hall, the Student Union, and Saylor-Ackermann Hall were all empty only one day after publication.
In Battelle Hall, the paper in the plastic display on the front of the bin was turned around so the back page was on display rather than the front page.
In the Student Union, the paper from the display was missing along with the rest of the papers.
Upon first noticing the missing papers in Battelle Hall, The Chimes’ distribution manager, sophomore Emily Dietz, went to the Conservatory of Music and took half of the stack from there and put them back in the bin in Battelle Hall.
“On Friday, I walked out of Cap Grounds and noticed that the newsstand was empty,” Dietz said. “This was odd to me, because when I deliver the newspapers on Thursday morning, I generally have to recycle a few remaining copies from last week’s issue.”
Dietz said that she didn’t think too much of it until she went to the Student Union when the newsstand there was also empty.
Upon further investigation, stacks of hundreds of copies were found in trash cans and recycling bins near the aforementioned bins.
The estimated loss is about 700 copies, which is almost half of the number printed.
According to the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), newspaper theft is a crime.
The SPLC’s website says not only that newspaper theft deprives rightful owners of their property, but also that although the papers are distributed without charge, that doesn’t mean that they’re “free.”
In addition, The Chimes pays money to produce the paper each week by paying editorial staff members, paying a printing company, often selling ads, and paying a distribution manager.
In what staff members can only assume is an act of censorship, the Chimes is currently keeping in touch with Public Safety as they investigate the crime.
“I am dismayed at such a petty action,” Kelly Messinger, faculty adviser of The Chimes, said. “It’s not only theft but censorship also.”
“The students work too hard to have their work disrespected,” she said.
“It’s clear to me that something in [last week’s] issue touched a nerve for someone,” Heather Barr, senior and editor-in-chief, tweeted Saturday following the crime. “But [The Chimes] will not apologize for that and we won’t stop making people uncomfortable when necessary. It’s what we’re supposed to do.”
If you have any tips, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also follow our social media @TheChimesNews for future updates.