Written by the Chivomengro Editorial Staff
One week ago today, Chivomengro published its March/April 2018 issue. This contained a piece of writing by James Saunders, a first-year contributor, about the recent loss of Ethan Parker, a close friend of James’s and a student in the same major as him.
This piece was removed from our website Saturday, after listening to the responses from student leaders and faculty. Over the last few days, the editorial staff of Chivomengro has been in deep discussion about the difficulty of addressing such a situation in writing, and the way it was mishandled in our March/April issue.
Since 2012, we have touted our commitment to the writer—we feel that students should be comfortable and confident submitting writing about anything, including sensitive issues such as the one detailed in James’s piece. We’re no stranger to controversy—we’ve faced it head-on in the past, armed with facts, figures, and research.
In this case, the line between journalism and personal expression wasn’t clear, nor did our editorial staff take appropriate steps to ensure that it was. The result, for anyone that has followed the social media conversation that followed, is that individuals in our community felt Chiv mishandled the presentation of the article and misrepresented the college’s response.
As an editorial team, we’d like our readers and the community to know that we’ve heard you. We take full responsibility, and hold ourselves accountable for any difficulties and confusion that resulted from the publication of the piece about Ethan Parker. In short: we’re sorry.
As a result, we’re working hard to create more stringent editorial guidelines for sensitive pieces in the future. We are also initiating research on a piece that focuses on the issue of suicide on college campuses and the hard work that goes into prevention. We hope that you’ll read this piece when it comes out. We also hope to hear from students who want to voice their feelings about this—we’re listening and are looking to learn.
Our apologies to our readership, the college, and anyone close to Ethan Parker.
The Chivomengro Staff