Student Editor: Someone Stole All Copies of Current Issue

Every copy of the current Current, the student newspaper at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc., has vanished. Editor Nathan Giebel (recently featured in a CMM student journalist spotlight) suspects theft.  So do school officials.

In his words, “I think the main question on everyone’s mind at the moment is: Why? Did we print something that offended someone? Did someone just think it would be funny? Clearly it takes a lot of effort, and strength, to remove more than 1,000 issues from stands before people can see them. What would encourage someone, or some group of people, to go through the efforts of doing such a thing?

A portion of the front page someone at Carthage does not want others to see.

Below, a brief Q&A with Giebel about the incident:

Any leads, suspects or guesses as to why this has happened?

There have been no cases of any type of newspaper theft at Carthage, as far as I am aware. I do not believe that we have any type of clause saying that “the first paper is free; any additional ones are 25 cents (or any other fee),” so technically it is hard to term it theft, since they are free for the taking. However, I believe it is kind of understood that taking more than 1,000 copies of the campus newspaper from newsstands all over campus is slightly against policies.  There were no sensitive articles in the issue. . . . We have had issues with Greek organizations disliking some things we’ve printed in the past, but the only Greek article printed this week was . . . about the actual country of Greece, since [the writer of that article] is currently there.

What makes you think it is theft and not just a high pick-up rate?

There’s no doubt that it was theft. We’ve never had an issue completely disappear from all newsstands. The issues were placed on the newsstands on Tuesday evening, like normal. By Wednesday morning, when I went into the academic buildings for my class at 8 a.m., all copies were gone. I never even actually saw a copy on the newsstand, and for quite some time I simply thought there was some type of discrepancy in the distribution process and they hadn’t been put out yet. Today [Thursday], the campus was alerted that they were stolen by the Dean of Students.

What is the plan to deal with this incident?

The Dean of Students alerted Student Government, the Hall Directors of every dormitory, Campus Security, and the Director of Housing and Greek Life, who has notified every Greek organization. The Hall Directors have each told all of the Resident Assistants, who have spread the news to their floors. Essentially, the whole campus is being made aware of the theft and the illegality of the actions taken by whomever took the newspapers.

Unfortunately, our campus is not outfitted with a police force, and I do not think that the Kenosha Police Department will be getting involved since it most likely was not someone from the city. We also don’t have many cameras.

As a staff, we’re working on encouraging people to go to our Web site to view the issue, since we cannot afford to reprint it. It’s extremely disheartening that I spent a total of roughly eight or nine hours in the process of gathering information, interviewing people, attending events, and writing my three articles that made it to the issue; let alone the five hours I spent editing stories. I think those feelings are echoed among the whole staff.

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