Newspapers have many responsibilities. Reporting the facts. Telling the truth. Staying objective. Acting in the public interest.
All of these things, to the best of our abilities as a student newspaper, we have constantly in our minds.
But there are other responsibilities, too.
Responsibilities to be respectful, to avoid and question ignorance, to pay constant mind to the danger of reproducing harmful and oppressive ideas and discourses.
In this, last week, we failed.
In a piece entitled “Four kinds of first-year students you don’t want to be next term,” we made all of those mistakes.
We acknowledge our own ignorance and learn from it.
We apologize to the Association for the Advancement of Black Culture for the representation we constructed of a black student joining ABC and being unable to handle the stresses of higher education, and for the implication that ABC is exclusively for black students.
We apologize especially to any students who felt specifically targeted by the article.
Despite the hurt we may have caused, students have been extraordinarily helpful in aiding us to learn from our mistakes and have helped us start a dialogue that promises to be productive.
Our aim is to get to a place where we are proactively and critically interrogating all of our work, and all of the Allegheny community, in order to confront ignorance.
In other words, our aim is to put out a product that attends to all of the responsibilities of journalism, the responsibilities of being a good person and the responsibilities of being positive members of the campus community.
We are indebted to any students, whose passion and mission it is to improve Allegheny.
So when we make mistakes, when we produce and reproduce something harmful, let us know. When you see ignorance in the world, confront it. We can never get to a perfect place, where such things do not exist. But we can get to a better place.