Saturday, November 01, 2003

Yana Litovsky's (Justice features editor) resignation letter is published in this week's issues, which came out on Friday instead of Tuesday as reguarly scheduled because of more demands from BBSO. It is full of justified frustration and anger, while still being reasonable and logical. I disagreed with some of Litovsky's opinions two years ago during the Men's Room incident, but I must say that I whole-heartedly support this letter.

The Justice apology and defense is equally well-written and logical, while still full of emotion, though I agree with Steve Silver that the defense should not have been placed above the apology. I only hope this misjudgment doesn't bring more heartache to the already drained editors.

I've only gotten through about half of the letters to the editor, but they seem to be pretty varied. A few, I am happy to say, try to address the fact that this campus has a habit of 'protesting for the sake of protesting.' While I don't think this is the case here (protest was warrented, just not to the degree that it happened) it is something that is quite widespread and it's good to know that others on this campus are recognize it.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Thanks to JawsBlog for the link. I think it's my first outside of my sister, so it really means something. Unfortuantely, it had to be on such an upsetting issue.

Campus Press Notes has a great, clear timeline up of everything that's happened. And Steve Silver, former Justice editor, is still going strong. There was a report on the local news last night with student interviews.

I had lunch yesterday with one of my good friends who is the photo editor of the Justice. That's right, people, she is in charge of the pictures. Not words, not content, photographs. She has been acting on minimal sleep for the past week and a half and says she does not feel safe going to her Spanish class because the other students give her hostile looks and refuse to speak to her. This is ridiculous. Nobody should feel unsafe in their classes or anywhere on this campus.

I'd write more, but I have to go give a tour for admissions and try to remember the I love I have for this school.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

As life continues to be way too busy (I'm actually skipping class while writing this post; it's the only way I'd have time), I haven't been blogging much lately. In the past week a huge controversy has exploded on campus. You can read great ongoing commentary (much better than I can do) about it at JawsBlog and Steve Silver's blog.

The basic gist: a rascist comment was published in the school newspaper, The Justice. An article was written blaming the Cubs general manager for blowing the NLCS championship and ended with a quote saying "the only thing [he] has a Ph. D. in is a work that starts with 'n' and rhymes with Tigger, the lovable scamp we all fell in love with from Whinne the Pooh." The Black Student Organization (BBSO) presented the Justice with a list of demands. The student who wrote the article resigned from the Justice as well as his position on Student Senate. The sports editor resigned. On Sunday night, the Student Senate met from 7pm until 6am and passed a resolution that called for the resignation of the editor in cheif. This demand has now been met and the editor, who had been in office for one week when this incident occured, agreed to step down.

What was printed in the Justice was inexcusable. The writer rightly was forced to resign as was the sports editor. The issue had to be dealt with, but the way BBSO is reacting is completely unconstructive. They staged a walkout on a forum on Thursday night; a forum designed to have an open dialogue and discuss what should be done. This, to me, shows a distinct lack of willingness to work with others. BBSO was hurt and has been reacting out of anger and without thought ever since. They have continued attacking the Justice editors even when demand after demand has been met. The administration has picked up this issue like no other in my time at Brandeis. The leadership of the Justice has been decimated. And now, the most well-established and basically the only form of communication of news on this campus may well disappear.

The comment made was inexcusable. But so is that action taken by those who, instead of adding constructively to the dialogue on this campus, instead decided to lash out and destroy one of the greatest organizations on this campus. Those students who are being attacked now, the majority of the editorial board, had nothing to do with the article which was printed. We have punished those responsible. We cannot hold the entire organization responsible for the stupidity and mistakes of the few.

EDIT: Oh, and I almost forgot. The story has been picked up by the Boston Globe. This, I think, is the saddest thing.

I love Brandeis. I have gone through four years here and worked damn hard on Orientation, Famly Weekend, and other activities to make this school a better place. We have a great community and incredibly passionate students who care about what they are doing. When an event like this get so blown out of proportion that it is all anyone can talk about, this is the image that the rest of the world sees of us. This is not the face of Brandeis. This is an isolated incident that has caused shuch hurt feelings that people are blinded by their anger. It upsets me greatly when issues like this become what people know of Brandeis. This is not the school I know. This is not the school I love.