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Fraternity Steals 10,000 Free Newspapers to Keep People From Reading Date-Rape Drug Story, UA Student Newspaper Alleges

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Last month, about 10,000 copies of the University of Arizona's student newspaper were stolen from various newsstands across the university. They were found the next day, dumped in various locations on the outskirts of the campus.

You may be wondering "why the hell would anyone steal 10,000 free student newspapers?" If you ask the editorial staff at the Daily Wildcat, it was to keep people from reading about the latest fraternity date-rape story.

Tim McDonnell, News Editor for the Wildcat, claims that members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at U of A sent at least two "pledges" to steal as many papers as possible to keep people from reading an article in the paper's "Police Beat."

The article, according to McDonnell, was about a girl who filed a police report saying she had been drugged at a Phi Kappa Psi party and thought she may have been raped while she was blacked out.

McDonnell says the reason the Wildcat was able to link the theft to the fraternity can be explained by watching the Coen Brothers classic film The Big Lebowski.

When a stash of the papers was found, McDonnell says the homework of PKP pledges Nick Kovalski and Alex Cornell were found too.

"Is this your homework Larry?"

The fraternity has neither confirmed or denied involvement, so we called PKP President Keith Peters to find out if two "pledges" were really dumb enough to steal 10,000 free newspapers and then leave their homework with the stolen stash -- the conversation didn't exactly go well.

Peters said he couldn't talk because he was walking across campus at the moment, so we asked him to call us back when he had a chance.

"Yeah, we'll see about that," he said.

"See about what?" we asked.

"If I feel like giving you a call back later."

Easy, junior -- we just wanted your side of the story.

According to McDonnell, the U of A Police Department hasn't been much help and closed the case without questioning anyone a few weeks ago.

McDonnell says he doesn't think campus police were taking the case seriously because the newspapers are free and the cops aren't sure if a crime was committed.

Calls to U of A police were not immediately returned this afternoon.

McDonnell says the theft cost U of A's student media department about $8,500, and the paper was forced to run free ads for businesses that bought space in the stolen papers.

The university is holding a session of the Greek Standards Board tonight, to see what, if any, disciplinary action can be taken against the fraternity.

Sounds like a little Dean Wormer "double secret probation" might be in the works.

"This was clearly an attempt to silence the media," McDonnell says. "We have good evidence that they did this, and we want some justice."

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