Counterculture hero Abbie Hoffman released a book named Steal This Book in the early 1970s as a sort of anti-establishment doctrine.
But, according to The Technician, it seems that NC State students may have misunderstood the text to mean, “Steal This Campus.” There were a number of thefts reported early in 1971, with more than 150 items valued at more than $17,000 belonging to NC State being reported as missing.
And it was on this day 34 years ago that all Wolfpack students living on campus were given a period of amnesty to voluntarily return any items they held without being punished or prosecuted.
“In cooperation with the Student Government efforts to seek the return of University property, officials of the University have agreed that no action will be taken to penalize students who voluntarily return previously-taken university-owned property by February 22, 1971,” read a student affairs statement released to The Technician. “It is understood that Student Government is developing plans to recover such property after that date.”
Suspicions turned to students when a search in Owen Hall “uncovered approximately $2,000 worth of University property. Nearly $1,400 in merchandise was recovered from the third floor alone.”
After the amnesty period ended, however, there were no guarantees made as to the fate that might befall an offender. There was a call for random searches and a possible prosecution.