Thunderbolt reappears on campus

By Joelle McGinnis and Sean Noble

Copies of Thunderbolt, the racist newsletter found on Greek Row last fall, appeared again off-campus and in at least one NIU residence hall Thursday.

Thunderbolt was mailed to students through bulk-rate mail in 8-by-11 gold-colored envelopes with a P.O. box return address in Marietta, Ga. One copy delivered to an off-campus resident had the words “sample copy” stamped on it.

NIU student Joanna Freda said she was shocked and angered when she found the envelope containing the copy of Thunderbolt with her mail. “I wondered how it came to me. Where do they get off mailing stuff like this?” she said.

Elizabeth Wilson, a Grant Towers North senior staff member, said distribution of the newspaper in her residence hall was “brought to (her) attention” by a number of residents. However, she said it was too early to determine the exact number of copies delivered there.

A freshman GTN resident, who did not wish to be identified, said she received a copy of Thunderbolt. She said she thought the newspaper was offensive. “I was really mad that I got one,” she said.

Front-desk employees in Douglas and Grant South said envelopes that fit the description of those containing copies of Thunderbolt were mailed to residents in those residence halls. A Neptune North employee said similar envelopes were delivered to residents yesterday as well as today.

DeKalb Postmaster R.J. Silverman said, “If a piece of mail is offensive to an individual, they can bring it in to (the post office), and we will forward it to the Postal Inspection Service for investigation.”

Thunderbolt, subtitled “News Suppressed by the Daily Press,” was distributed by unknown persons to several NIU fraternities and sororities last September. The newspaper is edited by Dr. E.R. Fields in Marietta.