Hannah Eason, News Editor
Members of the Student Government Association cleared out copies of The Commonwealth Times from kiosks on Monroe Park Campus, according to multiple confirmations from students and employees, following an article published Wednesday that detailed conflict and allegations of harassment within the organization.
Witnesses said they saw SGA leaders taking the newspapers from a kiosk within the University Student Commons, another outside of Cabell Library, one next to the Trani Life Sciences Building and another outside Hibbs Hall. They spoke on the condition of anonymity in fear of retaliation from their employers.
According to a calculation from Student Media Center Director Allison Dyche, the total production costs for the issue were $1,847, based on printing and payroll for staff members, not including professional staff hours. It is unknown how many copies were taken, but each issue is valued at $1, based on a policy published at the bottom of The Commonwealth Times’ masthead.
The policy states that each student is allowed one free issue, and each subsequent paper is $1.
The Commonwealth Times’ News Editor Hannah Eason saw an SGA member and an unknown student removing all copies of the newspaper Wednesday night from a kiosk outside Trani Life Sciences Building.
A student worker in the Commons, located adjacent to a Commonwealth Times kiosk, said she saw a member of SGA removing all of the newspapers from the box. She said SGA president Breanna Harmon was with the person who was taking the publications.
“Not the president but another member, I don’t know her name, took the whole stack and they started to walk towards the president,” the worker said. “They just went upstairs and they came back down with only one paper. So I’m pretty sure they just threw them out.”
When reached via phone call, Harmon declined to comment.
Two VCU employees who work at the Commons, who also feared retaliation and requested their names not be published, saw copies of The Commonwealth Times in trash cans and recycling bins on the second floor of the Commons, as well as other receptacles on campus.
Another student worker in the Commons, who is a senior and health sciences major, said she saw a VCU employee remove a newspaper that was used as a display. She says shortly after putting the display copy back, three SGA members removed the entire contents of the kiosk.
Shortly afterward, the health sciences major said she saw the three women walking out of the SGA office, which is adjacent to the information desk, accompanied by Harmon.
“There were three girls who came by and opened it up and took all of the papers. And they went upstairs and then they came back down,” the student worker said. “There was no papers when they came back down.”
This article was updated on Feb. 27 to include calculations from Student Media Center Director Allison Dyche.