Monday, December 12, 2011

UWM Student Association Former President, Including SORC Vice Chair Implicated In Alleged Post Newspaper Theft

Alex Kostal

David Sidhu

Photos: Facebook

The UWM Post reported that 800 newspapers were stolen on Oct. 31, from racks by students connected with the Student Association.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2011

Milwaukee - On Monday, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Post student newspaper reported that 800 newspapers had disappeared on Oct. 31, a previous audit by Distribution Manager Patrick Quast revealed. The newspaper disappearance was reported to UWM police.
Post staff members were able to get their hands on a camera video surveillance tape from the Student Union area and spotted several students who allegedly took the papers from a Post rack. 
One of the students was later identified by the Post as Student Association (SA) Office Manager Andrew Hapka. Hapka later told the Post that another friend not associated with SA helped him remove the newspapers from a rack. He also implicated former SA President Alex Kostal and former student Senate Oversight and Rules Committee (SORC) Vice Chair David Sidhu in the newspaper theft. Hapka admitted to the Post, that he was told by Kostal to remove the newspapers, which had an editorial which criticised former SA Vice-President Brent Johnson's sponsored event on campus. Johnson was not involved in the theft, although Sidhu helped to disposed of the newspapers after they were removed from a storage area in an office next to Kostal's SA office when the Post began to ask questions, according to Hapka.
Both Kostal and Sidhu apparently resigned their SA positions on Sunday at the SA Student Senate meeting and have denied their roommate, Hapka's allegation that they were involved in the theft. Hapka will most likely be removed from his SA position as well, pending the outcome of a university investigation.
As of Monday night, both names of Kostal and Hapka remained in the SA website.
On December 7, Johnson resigned his position as SA Vice-President after he was put on administrative leave over a sexual assault allegation from a woman pending an investigation by university officials. Johnson is facing expulsion from UWM, if found responsible for the sexual assault act. He has denied the allegation and claims that he is innocent. SA Senate members had also threaten to impeach Johnson.
University officials and the SA Student Senate have luanched their own investigations into the UWM Post newspaper theft.
UWM Post editor Zach Erman plans to filed a civil lawsuit this week against the former SA members and those involved for violating their First Amendment rights, including a civil rights violation.

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