Cadets take newspapers on campus
Published: Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07
In an effort to keep an article published in Monday's paper from being read, Corps members took editions of The Battalion from several campus stands but returned some by mid-morning.
Brett Bergamo, a senior information and operations management major and head yell leader, said cadets were told at a meeting Sunday night not to take Monday's newspapers. The Corps was aware that a story would be published Monday regarding the behavior of Josh Light, a junior yell leader candidate.
"We told them that we want this to get out, we feel like it was appropriate, and we were comfortable with this coming out because we knew that this was something the student body needed to know," Bergamo said. "We specifically said do not take Battalions in the morning."
Bergamo said he knows of a group of cadets who took copies of the newspaper, but he said the cadets put them back before 9 a.m.
"I was at Wehner, and I saw them put them back at 9 o'clock," Bergamo said. "They said they returned them, and I believe them. I don't know if there was a completely different incident, but the group that I caught returned [the papers]. They said they took them from West Campus and north side, and they said they returned them to those places."
Keith Marrocco, class of 1990 and software developer for the division of student affairs, saw students in T-shirts and shorts with "Corps haircuts" walking into the Student Recreation Center.
"Around 7 a.m., as I was leaving the Rec, there was some apparent Corps members, but they were wearing non-reg clothes, so it's hard to say for sure. I thought they were coming in to work out, but they grabbed a stack of newspapers and walked off with them in their arms," Marracco said. "Regardless of the content of the newspaper, that is a very dishonorable thing to do."
Marrocco contacted Matt Woolbright, editor-in-chief of The Battalion, of the incident by e-mail.
"I heard about the incident from an upset faculty member around 10 a.m.," Woolbright said. "Within an hour I had covered main campus and discovered that thousands of newspapers were missing. By 3 p.m., I finished a second walk and some were back, but by that time the majority of students who normally read had missed it."
According to the Student Press Law Center, "Publishing a student newspaper is an expensive undertaking; student newspaper thieves deprive rightful owners of their valuable property. Among other expenses, student news organizations pay editorial staff to produce the newspaper, advertising staff to sell ads, printers to print it and circulation staff to distribute the finished product."
Advertisers will be offered make-goods totaling $5,447.32, said Robert Wegener, general manager of student media. There were 18,000 copies of The Battalion printed Monday.
Sarah Smith, a freshman international studies major and staff writer for The Battalion, said she was disheartened because she worked on a story that appeared on the front page Monday.
"I put a lot of time and effort into writing for The Battalion because it's something I love to do. This just left a really bad taste in my mouth," Smith said.
As editor-in-chief of The Battalion, Woolbright said he knows the amount of work that goes into publishing a newspaper each day.
"There is an incredible amount of time and effort that goes into each copy of The Battalion," Woolbright said. "From the photographers and writers to the editors and designers, so much is poured into our product. To see a day's work, not to mention the time taken on assignment, go unnoticed and information remain unknown is just unfortunate."
Letting thieves get away with newspaper theft threatens the viability of free press, according to the Student Press Law Center.
"We will be working to figure out who is responsible and seeing that this is something they can learn from," Woolbright said. "It's a serious matter, not just something we can, or will, ignore. We plan to file a complaint with the University and handle the incident through the judicial systems."