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October 20, 2014

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Papers dumped, UNLV student paper reprints controversial column

UNLV's student newspaper reprinted a controversial opinion piecetoday after stacks of the Monday paper that housed the original column disappeared from racks around campus.

Nur Kausar, editor in chief of The Rebel Yell, said she has not yet submitted a formal report to police on the missing papers, which she believes were stolen.

She said one reason for republishing the column was "just to say, 'You can’t censor our paper.'"

On Tuesday afternoon, UNLV employees found numerous copies of the March 10 papers in campus recycling bins, according to The Rebel Yell.

Kausar estimates that one third of the 3,000 newspapers distributed Monday were taken.

The opinion piece, titled "Attack shocks, doesn’t surprise" and penned by Opinion Editor Sharief Ali, opened with the following:

"On Thursday a Palestinian gunman walked into a Jewish seminary in West Jerusalem, killing eight students and injuring nine. This attack shocked people all over the world. But one must be honest; after the destruction the Israeli military inflicted on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, this was hardly a surprise."

Editors at the student paper received numerous calls and e-mails both supporting and criticizing Ali's writing.

Dave Tonelli, UNLV spokesman, said school police are not investigating the incident because they did not view the disappearance of free papers as theft.

Kausar said The Rebel Yell may consider placing a regular message in the newspaper informing readers that they must pay for the paper if they take an extraneous copies.

"I don’t mind if someone took an entire stack and took it to use it or pass it out," Kausar said. "That's fine, I do that too. But the fact that we were told that they were found in a recycling bin, I don’t think that was the correct usage of our newspaper."

"To me it’s a big deal. We put a lot of effort and money into putting that paper out."

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