A&M cadets steal newspapers because of unflattering story

Marty McAndrews

Corps of Cadets members at Texas A&M University stole thousands of copies of the school’s student newspaper Monday, causing more than $5,000 in damages.

The Corps members responded to a story in Monday’s Battalion about yell leader candidate Josh Light. He received a minor in consumption charge in January 2010 and later lied about his behavior in an interview with the newspaper, said Battalion editor-in-chief Matt Woolbright.

“Yell leaders are celebrities on campus,” Woolbright said. “Next to the student body president, it’s the most important position up for election.”

Light first denied, then admitted to committing the past offense in an interview with Woolbright. The Corps of Cadets took no disciplinary action against Light.

Woolbright said he published the story so students could make an informed decision during the election. The newspaper theft disturbs the democratic process and freedom of the press, he said.

Students and staff witnessed Corps members in and out of uniform walking off with armfuls of newspapers and reported these incidents to the newspaper staff.

Woolbright said the newspaper plans to file a complaint with the university and handle the incident through its judicial system.

Authorities within the organization advised Corps members at a meeting the night before not to take any newspapers. Brett Bergamo, head yell leader, said cadets did take the papers but later returned them.