Campus officials said someone stole nearly 2,500 copies of the University of Southern Indiana’s student newspaper, an edition that featured a photograph of two women in bed, one of them nude.
Journalism instructor Patricia Ferrier, who is faculty adviser to student publications, said almost all copies of The Shield were taken from newspaper racks some time after 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Another 2,500 copies of the edition were printed Thursday, and Ferrier said there were plans for increased campus security near newspaper racks. Ferrier said the student publications committee will decide whether to contact the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department about the theft.
Julia Hunter, managing editor of The Shield, said whoever stole the newspapers brought more attention to the picture than it would have received otherwise.
“I think their purpose was censorship, and they did themselves a disservice because this is a much bigger issue now,” she said.
The edition included a photograph of two women together on a bed as part of a story about the controversy the picture created when it was published in a campus magazine. After the picture ran in the magazine, a group of college Republicans issued a statement condemning it as “soft-core porn” and noting that the magazine’s funding is partially comprised of student fees.
The newspaper story included an editor’s note that said the staff had carefully considered whether to run the picture. Ferrier said she did not want to publish it, but that it was the students’ decision.