Update on Missing Cowls

by The Cowl Editor on September 28, 2017


by Sabrina Guilbeault ’18

News Editor

As reported in the editor’s column and opinion section in The Cowl’s previous issue, on Friday, September 15, it was discovered that the second issue of this year’s Cowl had disappeared from distribution stands across campus. The Sept. 14 Cowl contained relevant and timely campus news, including Providence College’s reaction to the potential DACA repeal, a feature on four female presidents of influential clubs on campus, and a breakdown of the new grant awarded to the College to promote mental health.

Marla Gagne ’18, editor-in-chief, and Paige Calabrese ’18, associate editor-in-chief, filed a formal complaint to the Department of Public Safety that same Friday afternoon, and were part of over a week’s worth of ongoing meetings and discussions centered on finding a solution to the case.

This past Sunday, The Cowl editorial board was notified that the Department of Public Safety came to the conclusion that an individual student was responsible for the missing newspapers. The department used available video surveillance to reach this conclusion. The approximate 1,400 papers were disposed of.

It is not in The Cowl’s interest to expose the student who is responsible for the case; however, the purpose of this article is to provide the PC community with a deserving explanation as to what happened. The Department of Public Safety reports that the student acted alone and did not take The Cowl based on article content, but due to personal circumstances. We will not release any additional details of the case in order to respect the privacy of the student.

Based on a written statement issued to the college and The Cowl‘s EIC and AIC, there is evidence that the student did not mean to target or diminish the work of students, and is sorry for disrespecting The Cowl staff and its publication. The student will be facing possible sanctions through the student conduct process. The missing issue will be reprinted this week and can be found in the usual distribution locations.

About 300 copies of the issue were also used by Campus Ministry for the Connections Retreat, but this event was incidental, and not connected to the case.

The Cowl staff would like to thank the Office of the Dean of Students for their help in the investigation, as well The Cowl’s advisor Richard Kless from the Office of  Community Standards.

“We are glad a student came forward,” said Steven Sears, the dean of students. “We are happy with the results and were glad to help The Cowl with the investigation.”

In regards to rumors that have spread involving this case, although it was speculated that The Cowl issues were removed due to censorship, Gagne, Calabrese, and the rest of the editorial board are satisfied with the conclusion found by the Department of Public Safety. In promoting freedom of the press and the right students have to freedom of speech, letters to the editor involving this incident or any on-campus news are always welcomed and can be delivered to The Cowl office or emailed to commentary@thecowl.com.