Update: Newspapers stolen on campus

Hunter Wallace
News Editor

The Hudsonian’s issue 9 was stolen from stands after an article was published that a student disagreed with.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m., Creative Editor Grace Sgambettera stocked Hudsonian newspapers around campus. When Sgambettera returned the next morning at 8:30 a.m., she saw that many issues were missing from newspaper racks in the Parking Garage, Siek Campus Center and Administration building.

On Nov. 16, Public Officer Steven Denio reviewed second floor CTR video and found a white male on Nov. 15 at 6:08 p.m. walk up to the rack, take every copy, walk down the stairs and stop to put the newspapers inside his backpack and then walk away.

On Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m., Denio identified and interviewed male student John M. Karner, who stated he took all of the newspapers because “it (sex assault incidents) was all over social media, the news and other sources.” Karner also apologized.

“It was very frantic and unexpected because I’m not here on Friday, and as editor-in-chief I should have been the one to go down and file the report,” Rodriguez said. “[Sgambettera and I] were texting feverishly, just trying to figure out how to solve this.”

In addition to the legal aspect of this incident, the theft also affects the paper’s finances.
“This [theft] does not compensate for how much those papers are,” Rodriguez stated. “The newspapers are expensive. They’re probably ballpark $300 every single time we publish. I think people might not be aware of that, but publishing a newspaper is very expensive, and that comes from the Records and Activities Fee, so students are basically paying for this newspaper that a student stole from our stands.”

Sgambettera commented on how this unlawful act speaks to the greater pressures the media industry faces.

“I feel like we have a problem with the way the media is perceived and the way journalists are treated,” Sgambettera said. “On a smaller level, this kind of reflects the attitude toward the media and toward journalists throughout the country and the world that we are not getting the platform we legally have a right to.”

Sgambettera continued, “We’re not given the respect of just letting us exercise our own free speech and our own freedom of the press and then responding on your own with an email, a letter or showing up at our office and having a heated conversation, if you must. I think it just shows a lack of understanding of what our jobs are and a lack of respect to us to do them.”

The theft affected more than just preventing the dissemination of news to students.

“We suspected that we might get some comments from the campus,” Rodriguez said. “I never assumed that someone would steal copies from the stands. As a result of this, there were definitely some hurt feelings from staff members who were wondering why the newspapers where their work was featured had been stolen by another student.”

Going forward, both Rodriguez and Sgambettera stress the importance of open communication in times when students may disagree with certain coverage.

“We really want feedback from our readers because we want to listen to [them],” Rodriguez said. “Talk to us. We have mandated office hours. We [also] have Monday meetings at 2 p.m. in ADM 107.”

“If you’re not comfortable meeting face to face, send us an email,” Sgambettera said. “We’re not going to really consider what your perspective is unless you tell us. People should talk to us.”
At this time, The Hudsonian is considering pressing charges, but no official decision has been made.

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