In the course of the last week, many assumed boundaries have been crossed.
The first was through the publication of the “He Said/She Said”’s column, which offended a portion of the campus.
Then, for the first time in a long time, we actually had a protest on campus. Students, staff and faculty cut out the column, posted writing on our windows, and discussed the issue at hand outside of our office.
In conversations, many of the lurking questions that present themselves ask where do we draw the line. What is free speech, and what is vulgar? What is censorship, and what is vandalism? What is this worth? What is entertainment? If I don’t take action now, when will I?
The Mirror is in agreement with the rights to free speech and the right to assemble. But in this case, while we try to be the agent of free speech, we became the target.
We apologize for the publication of a column that had the potential to offend such a great number of students, parents, alumni and members of the Fairfield community.
But the editorial meeting allowed us hear many voices that never have come to us before. We wish we could have fostered such attention in more favorable circumstances.
This is about an issue bigger than all of us; we all desire to be better, as individuals or through affiliations. The meeting we had promoted ideas to better the social culture of our campus as portrayed through our publication. But there are actions that work against this progress.
People have suggested that The Mirror be terminated. We have the right to provide entertainment to readers, as well as real journalism. And although it may seem to some that we only gain attention through our “He Said/She Said,” we work hard to promote real journalism.
We do not condone sexual harassment, rape, or forms of violence. These are problems that are bigger than The Mirror, and while we should never appear to endorse these thoughts and actions, attacking individuals will not solve the problem, and shutting down The Mirror will not end sexism.
We’ve also been asked to define censorship. The Mirror considers removing the newspaper from the stands, and any disciplinary action taken against a writer directly because of an article, as censorship.
We have taken the time to evaluate the situation.
We’ve decided that removing the column would not fix the problem, but what would have greater, more positive effects on the community is to improve the column, by restructuring it and being more considerate to all and any possible interpretations.
In addition, we are going to update our Code of Procedure to include a section about “He Said/She Said” to ensure that future columns will not include divisive or offensive language.
It is a difficult decision to make and one we did not take lightly. We hope that together we can move forward and turn a negative into a positive.