Wildcat theft silenced newspaper and alleged drugged victim

So the University of Arizona Police Department closed the case on the theft of 10,000 copies of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, and the Greek Standards Board ruled in favor of Phi Kappa Psi last week.


Sadly, amid the frothing furor, spewing bile and cries of conspiracy, many readers and the Daily Wildcat have forgotten the likely cause of the theft.

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A female student told UAPD she believes someone at a Phi Kappa Psi party drugged her with GHB, a drug often used in sexual assaults.


Let that sink in for a moment.


An unidentified man at the fraternity's Sept. 27 party gave the woman a drink that caused her to experience symptoms similar to being drugged with GHB.


The woman didn't report being sexually assaulted, but she also wasn't examined for signs of it either.


Now consider the Oct. 8 Police Beat report: ""She also told police that she had attempted to contact the fraternity president and had left several messages at the fraternity, but had received no replies.""


Sound familiar?


""She told officers she was reporting the incident to document the event in the hopes of preventing any future sexual assaults.""


This incident was printed in the Daily Wildcat issue that was stolen.


There are tragic lessons to draw from all of this.


The Daily Wildcat and the UAPD failed in their responsibilities.


The Daily Wildcat failed to adequately follow up on the Police Beat report, mainly because it was caught up in the theft of its papers.


But I won't go into further details of its failure here because that's not the main issue. I do, however, invite enterprising journalism students who don't work at the Daily Wildcat to write in with what should have been done.


UAPD has failed in its duties since it has essentially condoned stealing the newspaper whenever any group or individual doesn't like what's published, which is a dangerous precedent to set.


UAPD acted as if the newspaper theft and the possible rape will go away if nothing is said about it — which is what Phi Kappa Psi President Keith Peters has been doing and continues to do.


We'll never know if what happened to the woman won't happen again at another Phi Kappa Psi party.


Instead of working with UAPD to be more vigilant and prevent possible rape or proclaiming their innocence, Peters and the rest of the fraternity believed it was better to silence a newspaper and the woman.


I cannot believe that every single Phi Kappa Psi member would condone the use of date rape drugs at their parties. Yet the members' silence is deafening.


If another woman is drugged at a fraternity party, don't expect to hear about it from UAPD or to read about it in the Daily Wildcat.


UAPD won't do anything if its calls are unreturned and its e-mails go unanswered. The UA community won't know about such incidents since the newspaper can now be stolen without real consequences. Victims of sexual assault will have no voice or refuge in their college publication or their local police.


And that is the most tragic lesson.



— Steven Kwan is a nutritional sciences senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.


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