Student charged with conduct violation for theft of Hilltop VIews

Law prevents disclosure of results


This letter is a model form of the one sent to the charged student. Conduct investigations handled by the Dean of Students all begin with a letter like this one

The Dean of Students office has charged a student with violating the code of conduct following a UPD investigation into the disappearance of Hilltop Views issue three earlier this semester, according to Steven Pinkenburg, the Dean of Students.

Specifically, the policy violation in this case refers to Article 2, Section 3 of the student code of conduct. The student handbook phrases the violation as, “Taking possession of university property, stolen property, or personal property of a member of the university community that is unauthorized and intentional.”

Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that protects the privacy of educational records, the administration will be unable to disclose any further information about the case, including the name of the student, the method of investigation, and the outcome of the conduct hearing.

According to the Student Press Law Center, student newspapers were reportedly stolen eight times in 2018. Earlier this year, an edition of the Baylor Lariat was removed from newsstands by tour guides, who were allegedly instructed to do so. Pinkenburg assures students this is not the case for the Hilltop Views disappearance.

“I absolutely guarantee this was unauthorized,” Pinkenburg said.

Students have expressed confusion as to why a fellow student would remove the newspapers from the stands.

“I just don’t see how that would be of any benefit to the student to steal a school publication like that,” said senior Dimitri Kestenbaum, who was quoted in issue three’s front page story.

The charged student’s motive will not be revealed to Hilltop Views at the end of the conduct investigation. However, some students such as senior Ricardo Apanco have drawn attention to the fact that the newspapers were taken during homecoming week as a possible motive.

“Why hide the truth?” Apanco said. “Not only from students, but from staff and family members who were here for homecoming?”