Student Admits To Disposing of Stacks of Commentator Issues
A student came forward and admitted to disposing stacks of The Commentator’s final issue last semester from its stand in the lobby of Mendel Gottesman Library. The student will provide restitution to The Commentator for incurred losses.
The student only took responsibility for removing copies of The Commentator’s sixth issue from its stack near the library approximately one day after they were distributed on Tuesday, Dec. 28. He denied knowledge of any of last semester’s previous incidents.
The Commentator first reported the matter on Jan. 3. After editors discovered that the news stand in Morgenstern Residence Hall was also emptied less than a week after this incident, the Security Department recommended filing a formal incident report, which was subsequently filed. As of publication, there is no update on the Morganstern stand.
On Thursday, Jan. 13, Vice Provost of Student Affairs Chaim Nissel forwarded an email to The Commentator from the student with the subject line of “A Second Thought.” In the email, the student, whose name was removed by Nissel, took responsibility for clearing the stand, apologized and offered to reimburse The Commentator. (The Commentator decided to exclude any identifying details of the student from this article.)
“Recently, I was under a lot of stress during reading week. I was not in the right state of mind and I acted impulsively without speaking to the right people,” he wrote. “I disposed the commentator issues from the stand in our Yeshiva building and that was not my decision to make. I'm sorry and I'm willing to pay for those issues and reimburse the yeshiva.” The student did not provide any further explanation on what motivated his action.
The student’s admission to Nissel came shortly after a resident advisor identified him on security footage that captured the incident. There is a security camera directed toward the Gottesman building’s lobby where the stand was stationed.
Based on discussions with the Office of Student Life and a new photograph of the stand before it was cleared, The Commentator estimates that the total number of discarded issues was between 275-300 issues, higher than the previous estimate of 150-250 issues provided in the original article.
On Jan. 14, the student emailed The Commentator with a similar message to what he sent Nissel but added that he didn’t remove any previous issues. “This was the only time that I disposed of the Commentator's print copies,” he wrote. “I know nothing about your articles disappearing in any other instances.”
The student also included a photograph of the stand immediately prior to his removal of the papers, providing a more accurate estimation of the number of copies lost. The email the student used to contact The Commentator was from an account labeled email@example.com.
The incident is now being handled by the Office of Student Life (OSL). As of publication, Nissel and Senior Director of OSL Rabbi Josh Weisberg could not be reached for comment.
Photo Caption: The student’s admission to Nissel came shortly after a resident advisor identified him on security footage that captured the incident.
Photo Credit: The Commentator