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Baylor University Tour Guides Removed Student Newspapers Reporting Sexual Assault

Baylor University says that a “miscommunication” led tour guides to remove copies of its student newspaper featuring a headline about an alleged rape near campus from the sight of prospective students.

Baylor students say they were eating lunch when a tour guide took their copy of the Lariat, BU’s campus newspaper. According Ben Christie, a student who had his paper taken, tour guides said they’d been instructed to confiscate the papers, which featured a headline reading “Fifth Alleged Rape Reported”:

“The girl who took the newspaper from our table, she told us her boss had told her to do it,” Christie said. “Then they said it was something they didn’t want students to see.”


The Lariat is also reporting that 15 of its newsstands were empty of all copies of the paper, indicating they may have been taken before any of the 2,000 visiting prospective students could see the headline.

However, Jason Cook, vice president of marketing and communications for Baylor, issued a statement saying tour guides were never instructed to trash the unflattering papers and the incident was the result of a breakdown in communication:

“We have learned there was a miscommunication at an event on Feb. 9, when an admissions staff member asked a few campus tour staff to move papers in the Penland Crossroads lobby and Foster,” Cook said. “Unfortunately, papers in the Penland lobby were thrown away while papers in Foster were moved within the newsstand or recycled.”


Huh. Ok. But that still sounds like they were asked to hide them?

According to the Lariat, the University of Oklahoma recently experienced a similar incident, wherein 450 newspapers with a headline about campus sexual assault were stolen. Yep, colleges sure will do anything it takes to stop talk about sexual assault except take action to prevent and punish sexual assault.


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I know Baylor (or the medical school in particular) has some sort of clout in Texas, but to an outsider it is just so very bizarre. I had the, erm, opportunity to visit it for an international maths competition as a wee student and the part I will never forget is how their mascot (a live bear) was on display in this depressing cell made of concrete and metal bars. It was like an isolated, dystopian zoo pen in the middle of campus, and you could see two highway overpasses in close range, so it was also noisy and uncomfortable. I felt terrible for the bear and from that young age associated Baylor with animal abuse.