To the Temple community:
For the past two Thursdays (Feb. 21 and 28) the Temple News was stolen from various locations across campus.
On the 21st there was nothing that could be done. Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., thousands of issues disappeared from the stands without a word or raised eyebrow from the campus community.
An unknown person, or persons, decided that they didn’t like what the Temple News wrote. Rather than take a LEGAL route and write a letter to the editor, or submit a story with an opposite slant, they destroyed a week’s worth of work by a staff of 40.
They threw away about $6,000 in advertising revenue, $2,000 in printing costs and $2,000 in payroll expenses.
On the 28th, we were slightly more prepared. On that fateful Thursday, we were planning a “stakeout.” We were going to watch our newsstands and make sure that there wasn’t anything fishy going on. We had planned on discussing it at the editorial meeting later that day.
At least, that is, until we received a phone call from a student who works at Gladfelter. She had seen two people steal stacks of the issue and then proceed to throw them in the trash. The surveillance cameras in the Student Center caught the same thing.
The papers were recovered and returned to the distribution stands. But the Student Center stands were raided again. Temple Police responded to a call placed by Editor in Chief Brian Swope. They took statements from Student Center workers and TN employees who were witnesses. Evidence was turned over to them.
While the matter is still under investigation, Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charles Leone was able to say that those involved are students, and the first thing that will happen is a referral to the University Disciplinary Committee.
In other cases of newspaper theft across the country, charges against the culprits have included theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
The point to this letter is to let everyone know that this was not just a crime against the Temple News. It was a crime against the University community.
Someone decided that they didn’t like a story printed in our paper. Rather than taking any sort of civil action against us, they took illegal action against us — and they took action against the entire community, by not allowing you to form your own opinions.
We will not allow this to happen again. We are pushing the investigation to continue, and will file charges given the opportunity.