Editorial response to April Fools Issue
Published: Friday, April 2, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 02:04
Since the publication of the Aprils Fools issue of the Advocate, a work of satire in the tradition of college newspapers and alternative weeklies around the country, students have coordinated a response to material in the issue they considered offensive. That content has been described as racist and inappropriate.
On April 1, a group of students removed roughly half of the circulated copies of the Advocate from distribution bins around campus. Students and other Advocate readers have posted intimidating and threatening comments in response to the story which has drawn particular ire, Jef Otte's weekly column, "The Hairy Eyeball."
The Advocate's staff view removing newspaper and threats to news writers as acts of censorship. Removing papers both deprives Advocate staff of their First Amendment freedoms and Auraria campus students of their right to read their campus newspaper. And threatening a news reporter—one who has consistently written columns and stories promoting the rights of the groups he is now said to have injured—does not promote safety or unity on this campus.
The newspaper is being redistributed through the end of this week.
Students have also started to organize a protest of the Advocate, scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, April 5 at the flagpole on campus (that information comes from a flyer found on campus. Further details will be added as available).
Our publication exercises the right to free speech, and the practice of it as published on April 1 is protected under court precedent for the freedom of the press, particularly regarding satire. As we have exercised this right, we encourage other students to use it as well, as they will in this protest Monday.
We encourage interested students to attend the protest or write letters to the editor, which can be emailed to the editor in chief and will be published in subsequent issues of the newspaper.
Editorial staff members have met with members of the group of students who have voiced their concerns to hear their opinions and expressed our views and intentions.
It is unfortunate that some of the content in the newspaper was interpreted as hurtful or ignorant. As a work of satire, it was intended to parody those hurtful and ignorant views, not foster them.
The Advocate editorial board