Response to stolen newspapers

An article two weeks ago, on UPD’s drug-related arrests of two students, generated a great deal of response online. How some students have reacted to “The Houstonian’s” publication of the story and the theft of the newspapers leaves me appalled.

First of all, it is the newspaper’s responsibility to report the news that occurs on campus, and if a drug deal takes place, then students want, and have a right, to know about it. The newspaper fulfilled its responsibility by reporting the facts. The newspaper did not intend to disgrace the students involved or the organizations they’re affiliated with. The newspaper didn’t even reveal the name of the fraternity. It wasn’t the story’s content but the alleged drug deal itself that brought shame upon those involved. It would have been unethical for the newspaper to not print the story, just because the students are fraternity members. That’s no excuse for illegal behavior. The newspaper can’t be expected to be selective of the news to protect the image of those involved. These students, if indeed guilty, disgraced themselves through their conduct. It wasn’t the newspaper.

Secondly, regardless of who took the newspapers, the fraternity, given all the publicity, should look into the possibility of drug use among its members. I understand that the conduct of these two individuals, as reported by police, is not representative of the fraternity, but the fraternity does need to take responsibility for the actions of its members when, and if, they do wrong. The fact that these students were accused by police of engaging in a drug deal does, in fact, reflect poorly on the fraternity and the university. I would like to know how the fraternity intends to reprimand these individuals, if convicted. I also understand these two students involve themselves in community service and other activities through the fraternity, but possible drug use among fraternity members should not go ignored. If the fraternity members are convicted, it would mean on-campus drug use is an apparent problem that needs to be addressed before it escalates.

I condemn whoever took the newspapers. I feel that as a student, my right to the truth has been violated. We need to face these truths, not sweep them under the rug.

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