UB workers discard Spectrum newspapers from stands in Student Union

Newspaper typically remains on stands until orientation issue in July

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A UB Facilities employee removed and threw away stacks of Spectrum newspapers from stands in the Student Union at 11:53 p.m. on Tuesday. A Campus Life employee discarded the remaining stacks on the first floor near the Putnams staircase at 2:16 p.m. Wednesday, according to University Police surveillance reports.

UPD Deputy Chief of Police Joshua Sticht said the surveillance reports looked like two people carrying out the same act as a potential order or miscommunication. 

The last paper of the semester, the commencement issue, typically remains on stands until orientation issue is printed in July. The issue featured stories regarding a UB senior adviser who resigned after having a relationship with a student, the lack of resolution on stipend level issues and Sub-board I asking the Faculty Student Association to transfer $1.5 million back to students. 

Pamela Stephens-Jackson, a Campus Life director, said to her knowledge she hasn't seen this happen in her 27 years at UB and had no knowledge of the incident.

"I had no clue that it even happened. … Unless there was some reason that someone said [the newspapers] needed to be removed, I've never known them to be removed like that. They pretty much stay until the next issue is put there -- during the year and at the end of the year," Stephens-Jackson said.

Stephens-Jackson said she believes her worker would have been given an instruction to do so.

Johnny Garcia, Student Union manager, identified the female pictured as his student worker. 

Garcia, a supervisor in the Student Union for 20 years, said he didn't give any instruction. His workers do hourly rounds of the building to remove any unsolicited notices and make sure the union is kept neat, Garcia said.  

He said anything they find is usually removed by the workers -- except copies of The Spectrum

Timothy Schwab, a UB Facilities cleaner for over eight years, said they have always been told not to remove anything from the cubicles except for dusting around the papers. 

"On occasion while I worked nights, I was asked to clean them. I would clean an empty section and just move them over to the clean section and do it like that, but we never throw them out of the cubicles. That is where they are supposed to go. ... Something's going awry here, and I don't know why someone would toss them," Schwab said. 

Joseph Freeman, the night shift facilities supervisor said, "This seems to have been an incident of an employee trying to be pro-active, and believing they were assisting Spectrum staff when unfortunately they were not. I reiterated proper procedures to my employees and explained the cost to the institution for this act. This was honestly a case of staff trying to keep things clean and organized. UB Facilities is committed to the cleanliness of the building, and we are deeply sorry for what happened." 

University spokesperson John Della Contrada provided the following statement:

"University Police have reviewed the security camera footage with the editor-and-chief of The Spectrum and have concluded its investigation. The video evidence shows that The Spectrum newspaper was not deliberatively [sic] targeted by anyone. University cleaners discarded the newspaper, along with printed materials from the university, as part of a general end-of-the-semester cleaning of the Student Union. It is unfortunate that newspaper was discarded from its Student Union location. The Spectrum is an independent publication and it should not have been removed from the Student Union with materials printed by the university." 

The Spectrum is independent from the university and is available at no cost to students. The commencement issue cost The Spectrum roughly $1,000 to print. 

This is a developing story.

Hannah Stein is the editor-in-chief and can be reached at eic@ubspectrum.com

@HannahJStein