From the Editors-in-Chief: Theft as a means of self-expression

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By Aviva Hope Rutkin

Newspapers trashed. Secret notes slipped into editor’s bags. An anonymous phone call threatening a member of our staff.

It has been an interesting week here at the Concordiensis.

On Thursday, about 900 copies of our newspaper were stolen from distribution boxes around campus and trashed in nearby recycling bins. No students were apprehended.

“Regardless of what was written in the newspaper, I believe it is extremely disrespectful to all the students who put in hours of work,” said Student Forum President Mital Patel ‘12. “This campus always has controversial speakers, events and, in this case, newspaper articles, but for the most part, Union students respond in a mature and respectful way. I would hope that we all can move on from this and learn better ways to report differences in opinion.”

The theft is ironic, given the unprecedented popularity of this week’s issue.

As of press time, one of our articles has logged over 4,000 views and 149 comments, easily seven or eight times our regular website traffic. Furthermore, the story was picked up by the Schenectady Gazette and the Times Union the day after publication.

Website comments ranged from neutral to vitriolic. Some students doubted the veracity of the article, or argued that it was “inappropriate” to print. Students rallied both for and against the Greek community.

“Obviously the comments are disheartening not because of where people fall, but I just don’t like to see people talk to each other like that,” said Director of Greek Life Timothy Dunn. “It’s sad to see students being so mean to each other.”

The Concordiensis’s primary role is to serve as a conduit of campus information and discussion. As evidenced by this week’s Opinions section, we are more than happy to print letters to the editor.

With this piece, as with all pieces, we made a good-faith effort to give people from all sides a chance to share their perspective. This effort was demonstrated by printing that an individual had no comment. It is common practice for newspapers to report when an individual declines to comment in an effort to demonstrate that information was sought. We would have been criticized either way.

One final note: some commenters claimed, among other things, that the administration specifically asked the Concordiensis not run an article on Delta Delta Delta.

This is untrue. Throughout the last two weeks—in fact, throughout the time that the senior editors have been here—the administration has been supportive of the Concordiensis’s right to print what it chooses.

Only students have attempted to malign the paper or argued that its power to print accurate stories should be limited.

But, by that same token, students have also made for some our strongest defenders.

As a previous Editor-in-Chief commented, “What people do with the information given is up to them to interpret. It’s what newspapers have been doing everywhere for centuries.”

    Ajay Major and Aviva Hope RutkinEditors-in-Chief

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