Reflections from the EIC

Being a good journalist is different from being a good humorist. I would like to think that the staff of the Echo consists of innovative, curious, talented and exceptional student journalists. However, I have no qualms with saying that no one on our staff is a humorist. We are a platform for student’s thoughts and opinions and are not a monolithic entity. We come from diverse backgrounds and all hold differing opinions. Every year around April Fools, the Echo has traditionally published a joke issue. In this past year’s rendition we attempted satire, and simply failed.

I would like to spend some time apologizing to some of my closest friends here on campus. To the women’s rugby team, I am sorry. There is not much else I can say besides promising that the appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that moving forward, an incident like this will never happen again. As a paper, we understand the issues of satirizing the coming out process, perpetuating negative and demeaning stereotypes, and offending the identity of women’s rugby players are wrong. And for discrediting those processes in an attempt at humor, was cheap and pathetic. The women’s rugby team is an integral part of the campus community and contributes in countless ways to Colby’s culture.

In addition, I want to apologize to one of my close friends, Maggie Burgos ’17. Her name was wrongly and mistakenly utilized and appeared in the joke issue as a result of editorial oversight. It is our policy to not mention student’s names, without consent, in the joke issue, and regrettably, her name slipped through the cracks. Utilizing a student’s name without their consent, especially in a negative fashion, is terrible journalism. Moving forward, the Echo will implement a much more rigorous oversight process. Overhauling the joke issue is not an easy task. It will take time; however, I hope that the community will be patient and trust that I will work to guarantee that this incident never happens again.

The campus community reacted strongly to the Joke issue and that is something that I am proud of. However, throughout the weekend, the community reacted in a variety of fashions. I received a lot of feedback, and many critiques and comments were respectful, educated, and intelligent. College is a learning experience and this past weekend will probably be one of the most memorable. I understand how our paper hurt and pained individuals on this campus and I hope that, as a community, we can move forward and heal.

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