Editorial: UVU Review’s response to the confession

Explanation regarding the missing newspapers and what they were used for.

We are a local, non-profit organization working with at-risk youth. Hundreds of newspapers were required to facilitate an activity for our parent conference. We were under the impression that UVU Review was a daily publication. Late Wednesday night we went to collect some old newspapers which we thought would be going to the recycle bin. These newspapers were used to build bridges by individual families. Their goal was to make a bridge that was high enough for a 2 liter soda bottle to pass underneath and strong enough to support the weight of a full 2 liter bottle. This activity was used as a teaching tool to talk to the families about bridging their relationships, being a support to one another, the importance of connecting with one another, and overcoming trials in life. We are deeply sorry and apologetic for the misunderstanding and also any problems that this may have caused to the university. This was an innocent mistake. Our attempt was to put these newspapers to good use. The papers have since been recycled.

We would like to thank the staff and students at UVU Review for their understanding and forgiveness for our honest mistake.

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Early Monday morning two women, affiliated with a local at-risk youth center, with no organizational direct ties to UVU, confessed to the missing newspapers. They said that they had taken them late Wednesday night, to be used for a project. They realized the severity of their actions after the local and regional news covered the act. The act was a serious one, not to be taken lightly.

Many people were deeply affected by the missing newspapers. UVU Review’s student staff spend dozens of hours each week researching, creating and organizing the content for the students each week. This, on top of other obligations of school, work and social life. Criticism both before and after the apology in regards to the missing papers ranged from “the newspaper is free” to “the newspaper is pointless, who cares.”

We care; and the paper is printed for the student body, not for projects — regardless of the sincerity of the the project or the group behind it.

Concerned with the whereabouts of the paper, many hours were spent by the staff in trying to get to the bottom of the situation. An investigation began, and an award was about to be offered – and then came the apology from the youth center.

The executive staff of UVU Review and advisors then spent hours to hash out the multiplicity of actions to take. Hindsight affords a look at decisions made or not made. Regardless, UVU Review stands behind the way we acted in treating the situation as theft. The newspapers were taken from their stands, not used in the intended way. This constitutes theft.

Even so, we have decided to not press charges against the youth center at this time. This was a decision thought out by the executive staff, and we are not looking to move forward with an investigation with the information we have been given. It was not an easy choice, as many are looking for us to have the youth center realize the consequences of such a serious offense. Regardless of the way we act, we will be criticized by one set of thinking or another. Was it right for Pres. Ford to pardon Pres. Nixon? Ford did what he thought was best for the nation regardless of the political repercussions and attacks from the left and right. Was Nixon held accountable enough? Was the punishment exacted on Nixon enough to cancel out the potential precedent? Difficult questions indeed.

Faced with difficult questions ourselves, we felt pressing charges would not affect the outcome of the situation in a way worthy of the action. We still take the theft seriously, and will have case-by-case analyses in the future, should a similar event occur. We’d like to thank the staff of UVU Review, the local news coverage, the UVU administration, our publication board, campus police and all those who offered or were willing to offer helping hands in this unfortunate situation.

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