Suffolk paper disappears from racks

by Beacon Staff • December 6, 2006

The Suffolk University Journal fell victim to an act of thievery or censorship last month when the Nov. 15 issue, containing a story about students smuggling alcohol into dormitories, went missing from the newsstands just hours before a scheduled Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OA) open house.

A proposal has been drafted for the Suffolk Student Government Association (SGA) to investigate the incident, according an internal SGA memo.

The newsstands, usually stocked by Thursday, were empty by 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 when the OA came to set up for the weekend event, according to John Forrester, an editor at the Journal.

The issue also included an item about a sexual assault that occurred in the Suffolk dorms.

Forrester said he believes admission purposefully removed the issues.

"I walked in on Monday, and the current issues were gone, replaced with older issues," Forrester said.

Officials in the OA and public affairs declined to comment.

The SGA memo denied the organization's involvement.

"The purpose of this investigatory committee is to better the image of the Student Government Association, whereby any parties involved with the thievery of The Suffolk Journal newspaper (and subsequent disposal of) are brought to justice by the appropriate parties," the memo stated.

Journal Editor-in-Chief Amanda Bellamy said she planned to follow the SGA investigation.

"They've outlined an official procedure if they do find someone. The administration is not involved at all," Bellamy said.

"Admissions still hasn't commented, other than denials."

The proposal is scheduled to be submitted to the Student Judiciary Review Board Dec. 7. The Judiciary Review, a panel comprised of five SGA members, will be responsible for the investigation.

Similar to the Beacon, the Journal is left on newsstands throughout campus for anyone to take.

Forrester said it would be uncharacteristic if all of the papers were picked up by students in the period of a few hours overnight. From a typical 1,500-print run, Forrester said there are typically 200 copies left unread.

"They don't just disappear that fast," Forrester said. "It's pretty clear something's been tampered with."

The Suffolk SGA held a general meeting Nov. 31, but the subject was not brought up. The meeting was dominated by discussion of finances.

Cordelia Pisacane, SGA vice president, said the meeting left no time for the topic.

Despite the lack of coverage at the SGA meeting, Forrester said the matter has been discussed on campus.

"We don't have a tremendous amount of student interest in the paper," Forrester said. "To have them taken away is extremely disheartening."