In this week’s publication of the Spectator you will find an op-ed from an MRC Student Coalition Member on pg. 2 and Letters to the Editor on pgs. 22-23. A few of the letters published this week were not up to the Spectator’s usual publication standards because they at times used problematic, offensive language. Some of these letters used historically and racially charged terms in an incorrect manner, such as “lynch mob” to describe the MRC Student Coalition and their sit-in. One letter from a Seattle U professor also said that over-emphasizing marginalized identities dangerously gives validity to “ethnic” and other groups at “the expense” of “universalist values.” I could point out other aspects of these letters, but I think they speak for themselves.
Minimizing harm is one of the four major sections of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethics, and it is by this principle which journalists decide whether to share a voice, while also considering the consequences of doing so. It is important to note that the Spectator would not usually print these letters because they violate the principle of minimizing harm, but we have published them to reveal the language used by those who had or continue to have positions of power at our university. While the letters and the language used may cause harm or discomfort to those who read them, it is important to share because they reflect the truth of how certain people in our community view and describe students and this highly publicized student action. As always, if you would like to respond to any of the content published in or submitted to the Spectator, you can email me at [email protected]
—Melissa Lin, Editor in Chief