"4,000 copies of The CW 'swiped'"
The Crimson White
January 30, 1991
If you missed your copy of The Crimson White Monday, it could be because thousands of the papers were reportedly swiped from distribution boxes across campus.
CW Editor George Arnold claims that an estimated 4,000 papers were stolen by the Machine in an effort to prevent students from reading an expose on the political organization the day before SGA elections.
CW editors recovered about 1,000 copies in dumpsters and recycling bins. About 300-400 copies were found in a dumpster behind the Theta Chi fraternity house, and about 200 copies had been thrown in a trash can inside the College of Education.
About 200 copies were found in recycling bins at the Ferguson Center and Bidgood Hall, and nearly 200 more copies were returned to The CW by individuals who had dug them out of trashcans elsewhere.
Numerous witnesses reported seeing individuals take armfuls of papers out of distribution boxes, and several were prevented from doing so.
Kathy Clancy, director of student publications, said she had no way of knowing how many copies of Monday's paper were taken from the racks. She said Monday's paper is normally picked up quickly anyway.
"Because of the nature of that story, it's hard to say how many of the papers were picked up rapidly and how many were stolen," Clancy said. But she guessed "a real significant number" had been swiped because of the quantity found in the trash and the number of calls received at the student publications building.
Occasionally, one person calls and says there are no papers in a particular location, she said, but Monday eight calls were received.
University Police Chief Steve Tucker told Arnold that the papers cannot technically be referred to as "stolen property" because they are distributed free of charge to the student body.
But Clancy maintains that The CW is not actually "free.
"Students on campus pay through their student activity fees to have a subscription to The Crimson White," she said.
People are welcome to pick up two or three copies when they want to save an article or clip coupons, she said, but for someone to pick up 200 or 400 at a time and put them in a dumpster is not appropriate.
This not only deprives other students of their prepaid subscription; it also keeps advertisers from getting their paid messages across to the public, she said.
Clancy said she will pursue punishment of the individuals responsible. University Police have at least one license plate of a vehicle carrying "stolen" papers, and Clancy said she will pursue disciplinary measures through the Office of Student Life for any parties involved.
"I just hope that whatever anyone is able to do-it will discourage people from attempting to manipulate and, in effect, censor the flow of information on campus," she said. "That's what this is really all about."
Ashton Wells, who has been identified by Machine members as president of the Machine, was unavailable for comment.