On Friday, October 6th, Campus Safety responded to the Jackson Campus Center to take a report of stolen weekly newspapers, according to the Gustavus Daily Crime Log.
Caroline Probst, Editor-in-Chief of the Gustavian Weekly, received multiple messages on Friday from editors saying that they couldn’t find any of the newspapers in the Campus Center.
“They ended up being completely gone in the Campus Center,” Probst said, which is where the majority of the papers are kept.
She then alerted her Weekly advisor, Glenn Kranking, who then notified the Dean of Students, Jones VanHecke.
“I informed Glenn that it sounded like it would be an important conduct case for the Weekly to pursue against the individual or individuals who removed them,” VanHecke said.
Probst had also notified Campus Safety, and they took down a report.
“It is against college policy to steal the newspapers because it’s counted as theft, as each copy has value,” she said.
The first issue is free, while every issue afterward costs fifty cents. Because of its monetary value, it is theft when one takes more than one copy without paying the fee.
“I would expect that Gustavus students are mature enough and intellectually capable of being good citizens and good members of our community and respecting everyone’s rights to access the weekly,” VanHecke said.
The Gustavus Conduct System says, “The Dean of Students will seek to respond to the alleged violations through referral to one of three conduct procedures: the Administrative Hearing, the Student Conduct Board or with a citation.”
“We are pursuing actions against the person. We are in the process of setting up a hearing,” Probst said.
VanHecke also received an email from a student who reported that a person threw the papers in the garbage: “Students should respect the rights of all Gustavus students and faculty to have access to copies of the weekly by leaving them in the containers,” she said.
The eyewitness says it’s possible that the perpetrator threw away the papers because they mentioned the Greek Life suspensions from last year.
According to Probst, many people were upset with the Greek articles because they mentioned the suspended organizations.
“We haven’t talked to them directly so we don’t know the motive yet. The person is part of a Greek organization, so we would assume that that’s why,” Probst said.
The motive will hopefully be revealed in the hearing.
Probst also mentions that this isn’t the first time this has happened: “It has happened with a teacher and another time with a student who was unhappy with a Res Life article.”
“[Gustavus doesn’t] support students violating any other college policies, and so I think that the individuals responsible should be held accountable,” VanHecke said. “The way the college would respond to student misconduct… is by [using] our conduct system to hold people accountable if it’s determined that they’re in violation of college policy.”
Each student is to sign the Student Conduct Code, agreeing to “live by the standards of this community.” By accepting admission to Gustavus Adolphus College, each student agrees with this policy.
“The College reserves the right to dismiss any student whose conduct is detrimental to its welfare or whose attitude is antagonistic to the spirit of its ideals.
The student who fails to support the standards of the College loses his or her right to continue in attendance and forfeits fees paid, according to established refund policies.”
VanHecke reportedly believes the students should be held accountable and doesn’t think it’s “appropriate for students to abuse the Weekly by taking more copies of it than they need for their personal reading pleasure.”
Students are expected “to respect College property and the property of others. Failure to respect property, such as misuse, damage, or theft, constitutes ground for charges within the College student conduct system” according to the Student Conduct Code.
Also, the Gustavus athletics department reserves the right to prohibit representation on an athletic team or take another action if a student-athlete is in violation of the Student-Athlete Gustavus Student Conduct System. This could mean suspension or dismissal from an athletic team.
Gustavus also reserves the right to invoke the College Student Conduct System for student behavior occurring off-campus, as well as the right to refer to local authorities Currently, there have been no conversations between Gustavus hearing members and the involved parties.