Student Newspapers Stolen in Response to “BEER” Article

A group of undergraduates at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota recently carried out a “theft by relocation” operation, grabbing roughly 300 copies of The Gustavian Weekly campus newspaper from the centrally-located student center and moving them to out-of-the-way dormitories.

As The Reporter at Minnesota State, Mankato, dutifully reported, “The newspapers . . . were a hot-button issue among certain students as a feature recap article on Case Day, a Gustavian student tradition where participators attempt to drink a case of 24 beers in one Saturday, ran in the paper the same week in which potential scholarship students and their families were to visit that weekend.”

The article, headlined “BEER. It’s What’s For Breakfast . . . And Lunch . . . And Dinner,” did not actually promote the event, but it did contain the photo below displaying a shimmering glass of alcohol and a smiling student wearing a school shirt.

Photo by Lindsay Lelivelt, The Gustavian Weekly

The student thieves apparently did not like the possible alcohol-school connection the photo or article might send to prospective students and their parents.  So they relocated a large batch of the newspapers that might be seen by visitors to key-entry dormitories housing a combined 135 students.  It is a more subversive form of theft and censorship than simply stuffing papers in a Dumpster but it is theft nonetheless.

In its editorial, the Reporter suggests angry students speak up in response to student news content instead of attempting to subversively shut it up: “Protests encourage the exchange of opinions and the marketplace of ideas. Tampering with the newspapers on campus impairs free speech and inhibits freedom of the press. So in that respect, [the main student thief’s] actions couldn’t be further from the silent protest she claimed them to be.”

2 Responses to “Student Newspapers Stolen in Response to “BEER” Article”
  1. Heather says:

    The same thing happened when I was an assistant editor. Our editor in chief posted a restaurant review from a winery and our administration and some students (including the student body president) protested, and took the newspapers. But then I do go to a Christian college that tries to dictate what parts of social interaction we can have and attempts override some constitutional matters.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] The College Media Matters blog also has a post on copies of The Gustavian Weekly, the student publication of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Issues of the paper were “relocated” after an article about a controversial event ran in the paper. According to the blog, approximately 300 copies of the paper were moved to out-of-the-way dormitories from the student center. The student thieves were allegedly concerned about how an article regarding Case Day would look to visitors and prospective students. According to The Reporter at Minnesota State, Case Day is “a Gustavian student tradition where participators attempt to drink a case of 24 beers in one Saturday.” You can read the College Media Matters post here. […]