The color photo in the April 27 edition of The Gatepost newspaper at Framingham State College shows seven female students at a women's lacrosse game wearing tank tops and shorts with the name of a player spelled out on their bare bellies.
Soon after the paper was distributed around campus, about half its 2,000-copy press run disappeared.
Desmond McCarthy, an English professor and the paper's faculty adviser, said he was told by other students that the women in the photo thought they looked fat.
"This is the most stupid reason the paper has been stolen," said McCarthy, adding that editions of The Gatepost have been stolen four times in the past 15 years.
One of the students turned herself in then informed on her coconspirators, college spokesman Peter Chisholm said.
"The college doesn't condone actions such as this. We think it was a childish thing to do," Chisholm said.
Campus police will not pursue criminal charges, but the students face possible disciplinary action, he said.
Megan Turner, The Gatepost's editor in chief, said the students responsible for stealing the papers should pay for them. It costs about $630 to print 500 copies, she said.
By: Several female college students who stole about 1,000 copies of the student newspaper because they thought they looked fat in a front page picture face possible disciplinary action, a school official says.