TSL has obtained multiple videos of members of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps track and field team stealing, destroying, and throwing out copies of TSL on multiple occasions from the Collins and Malott Dining Halls.
“Newspaper theft is a crime and a blunt attempt of censorship,” according to the Student Press Law Center, a legal advocacy organization supporting student journalists and newspapers. “Even in the internet/digital age, newspaper theft presents a serious threat to the viability of the student press community.”
Campus Safety considers the incident theft and a violation of California Penal Code section 490.7, and has “documented the incident in our Clery daily logs,” Director of Campus Safety Stan Skipworth said.
Head CMS track coach Glenn Stewart, distance coach John Goldhammer, and athletic director Terrance Tumey all declined to comment on the matter.
None of the athletes captured in the video and identified by TSL responded to repeated requests for comment.
The thefts are also in violation of TSL policy that single copies are free, while additional copies cost 47 cents. This policy is printed in the newspaper and is also on TSL’s website. The policy was implemented in April, after TSL learned of the thefts, according to TSL Editor-in-Chief Meghan Joyce SC ’20.
The tumultuous relationship between the CMS track team and TSL seems to stem from TSL’s coverage of the team’s suspension for an alleged naked assault in February 2018, Joyce said.
“The fact is that we report the truth, and the truth isn’t always flattering,” she said.
TSL has been in contact with Campus Safety and administrators at Claremont McKenna College, where the majority of the thefts occurred, Joyce said.
“Claremont McKenna College takes all reports of potential misconduct seriously. We are in the process of reviewing these reports, and we are committed to taking appropriate action based on our findings,” CMC spokesperson Peter Hong wrote in an email to TSL.
“As an organization, we were very disappointed to see the students that we are trying to serve with our journalism censoring us,” Joyce said.