Last Friday morning, the latest issues of the Trinitonian all over campus disappeared from their racks as they were thrown into recycling bins and trash cans by some members of the campus community.
The supposed source of contention was an article that the Trinitonian printed in the April 13 issue related to the suspension of four Greek organizations on campus. In particular, the controversy seemed centered around a letter written by Raphael Moffett, director of Campus and Community Involvement, which outlined in detail some of the allegations against the Greek clubs.
There was some speculation around campus about how the letter had been obtained by the Trinitonian and whether it should have been printed.
“There have been rumors flying around that the administration gave us the sanction letter. That’s not true,” said Katie Bailey, editor-in-chief of the Trinitonian.
While many of the missing newspapers were recovered from recycling bins by Trinitonian staff members, the staff was forced to print 500 extra copies in order to ensure that the 2,200 copies of the paper promised to advertisers were available for distribution. This cost the newspaper, which operates as a legitimate business and partially sustains itself through selling advertisements, an additional $600.
Trinity University Police Department got involved at one point when two students were caught throwing away papers in Mabee Dining Hall. The two students later approached Trinitonian staff and paid $40 for the 80 copies of the paper that they threw away, making the total losses sustained by the paper $560.
The first copy of the Trinitonian is free to every member of the campus community, and subsequent copies cost $0.50. The act of throwing away several hundred copies of the newspaper constitutes a theft, and individuals involved in the crime could be subject to legal ramifications.
“That is now in the hands of of the university to decide further action. As of now, we are not interested in investigating who stole the papers or pressing charges,” Bailey said.
On Friday afternoon, the Trinitonian received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer claiming to represent the Gamma Chi Delta organization, one of the clubs suspended, demanding that the paper remove the article and sanction letter from the website by 4:30 p.m. At this time, the Trinitonian staff has chosen to leave the article on the website.