Some students think the theft might be over an article about radical feminism which was featured in the paper.

Susan Kruth of the FIRE blog reports.

Hamilton Students Condemn Theft of Campus Publication

Last week, Hamilton College student newspaper The Spectator reported that almost all issues of another Hamilton student publication, Enquiry, were removed en masse from their distribution spots on the private institution’s New York campus. The Spectator hypothesized that the theft was intended to shield readers from an article on “radical feminism” that had already generated criticism on social media. Both The Spectator and Hamilton’s Student Assembly denounced the act and urged students to engage in counter-speech rather than censorship.

On Wednesday, my colleague Sarah McLaughlin explained the problem of newspaper theft in the context of stolen issues of the University of Tulsa’s student newspaper, the Collegian:

The Collegian may be distributed for free, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an egregious act of theft. Student newspapers cost real money to produce, and businesses advertise in student newspapers with the expectation that their advertisements will reach students and not be thrown en masse into the trash.

And as those following our Free Press Week coverage know, student publications often bring much-needed attention to matters that affect their communities or even the world outside of campus. Unfortunately, newspapers and other student publications are censored via theft all the time.

That is why it’s reassuring to see Hamilton students push back against this phenomenon. The Spectator wrote last Friday that “no piece, no matter the content, deserves to be thrown in the garbage when more constructive ways of expression are available instead.” The Spectator’s editorial staff suggested that more forums be created so that students can “properly articulate[]” their responses to pieces in Enquiry rather than “crudely impl[y]” their disapproval “by petty theft.”