Collegian newspapers disappear from newsracks Tuesday

Collegian Staff

The Collegian newsstands looked rather empty Tuesday morning.

Most of the copies of The Collegian newspapers were taken off the stands and thrown away, according to multiple eyewitnesses, with many papers missing from the Lory Student Center.

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Witnesses claim copies of Tuesday’s edition were thrown away because the cover story addressed allegations that the campaign team for Associated Students of Colorado State University presidential candidate Ben Amundson and his running mate Alexandra Farias’ misreported their campaign finances.

Candidates vying for the president and vice president of ASCSU said they saw members of the Amundson-Farias campaign team take copies of Tuesday’s edition of The Collegian, rip them up and throw them in recycling bins in and around the LSC.

Dominick Quintana, ASCSU presidential candidate, said he saw people associated with the Amundson-Farias campaign removing copies of The Collegian from the stands.

“It honestly makes me really upset just because it’s news, and the public deserves to hear what The Collegian has to say about candidates,” Quintana said. “We shouldn’t hide the truth away from the public, especially our student leadership.”

The Amundson-Farias campaign issued a statement to The Collegian on the accusation that their campaign threw away the papers.

“We are aware that members of multiple campaigns redistributed newspapers across campus,” the campaign wrote. “Beyond that, we are focused on parking over politics and will remain dedicated to expressing our vision for the future of CSU.”

Presidential candidate Samuel Braun and his running mate Madison Taylor said their campaign team noticed that The Collegian newsracks were empty by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, when many students are not on campus.

“I know papers don’t have legs, so they just didn’t get up and walk away, and I know students aren’t grabbing all the papers by 8:30, so some of them have been taken away and that has happened in the past when candidates don’t like what’s published about them in the paper,” Braun said. “It’s not only wrong, it’s a waste of money. Those are paid for by student fees through ASCSU, so throwing those away sacrifices everything these candidates are saying about student fees in the first place.”

This action is considered theft, according to the Student Press Law Center.

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Though a stolen newspaper does not necessarily have to be distributed for a price to be considered theft in Colorado, it is worth noting that editions of The Collegian stipulate on the second page that the first copy is free, with each additional copy obtained costing 25 cents.

The Collegian contacted CSU Police Department and the Student Press Law Center about the incident Tuesday afternoon. In an email to police, RMSMC CEO Peter Waack estimated the costs of the theft.

“We had booked about $1,000 in ad income from advertisers that we will have to make good on,”  Waack wrote to CSUPD. “We also pay $403.55 for the printing of 4,000 papers. We pay our delivery manager $25 an hour of which .75 of an hour is spent delivering at the Lory Student Center.”

Waack stressed in his email statement not only the monetary loss but also the symbolic meaning behind taking the papers off the racks and disposing of them.

“The most significant injury to our company and the CSU community is the censorship of this information,” Waack wrote.

If anyone has information about this story and would like to go on the record, reach out to editor@collegian.com or call (970) 491- 7513.

Collegian staff can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

Editor’s Note: Correction: An earlier version of this article included information provided by the Student Press Law Center stated that: “Colorado law stipulates that: “A person commits the offense of interference with lawful distribution of newspapers when that person obtains or exerts unauthorized control over more than five copies of an edition of a newspaper from a newspaper distribution container owned or leased by the newspaper publisher with the intent to prevent other individuals from reading that edition of the newspaper.”” However, that law was actually repealed in the state of Colorado in 2013.