Our view: Stop the presses?

Usually, we’re thrilled when we venture outside of Franklin Hall and see empty news stands. It means people are engaged, picking up the paper and learning more about what’s going on around their campus – or at least that they’re checking out the ads and that day’s Sudoku.

Either way, we like to see that sign that students are picking up our product. So when some of us noticed empty stands in buildings such as Merrill and Bowman halls before our classes yesterday, we didn’t think anything of it.

Then the calls started rolling in, asking why the paper hadn’t been delivered yet – at 9 a.m. Most days, the Stater is distributed beginning at 7 a.m., and it finds its way into most boxes by 9 a.m. at the latest. A call to our printer confirmed that the papers had, indeed, been delivered that morning.

While we’d love to believe students raced out as soon as they knew Staters were on the stands to grab their Tuesday copy, we know that’s not the case. For some reason, an unknown group stole yesterday’s issue of the Daily Kent Stater from a multitude of locations around campus. They were gone from the Student Center, the library, some of the outdoor news stands, a handful of residence halls and a variety of academic buildings, including Moulton, McGilvery and Merrill halls.

We found some shoved into recycling bins around campus (thank you, at least, for being green). Obviously, someone didn’t want these papers to be read. What we don’t know is why.

We’ve been wracking our brains for a possible reason. We know we have enemies; a quick trip to KentNewsNet.com makes that abundantly clear, no matter what article you click on. Being disliked – by almost every group at some point in time – is a trademark of journalism.

But whoever stole the Staters left no sign as to why they did it; no indication of exactly what they’re upset about.

Maybe it was a group of friends playing a belated April Fools’ Day joke. If so, shame on you. The Stater serves as a voice for the student body, and removing that voice from campus is a form of censorship. Above all else, the Stater values the freedoms of speech and expression, and the last thing we would want to do is limit anyone’s views.

The people who took the papers did more than hurt our feelings. After all, if students were really interested in that day’s news, they could always go to the Web. But there are a lot of ads in the paper that don’t run in the Web that students will never see. If someone wanted to know when Jock Jams is this week or what room they should stop by to listen to Edward Hirsch’s poetry last night, they missed out.

And if there was a point the protesters were trying to make, it was lost on most students anyway. The Stater staff are likely the only ones who noticed that practically an entire day’s worth of papers went missing. Most students probably assumed individual boxes were empty.

If it was aimed specifically at us, we don’t know why it was done. Simply taking the papers doesn’t say – or solve – anything.

Anyone who has an issue with the Stater is welcome to stop by the office in Franklin Hall, give us a call at (330) 672-2584 or send us an e-mail at [email protected] We want to hear from readers. If there is an issue brought to our attention, we promise to take it into consideration, even if we don’t agree. The Stater is for the students.

So leave it where they can find it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.