When April Fools’ Editions Go Bad: Georgetown Students Protest at Hoya Offices
Dozens of Georgetown University students, angry about what they perceived as racially-inflammatory articles in the Hoya’s April Fools’ issue, staged a sit-in at the newspaper's office last night.
From the Hoya's article on the protest (Students Protest April Fools' Issue):
The sit-in began at 11:30 p.m., on The Hoya’s production night, when approximately 60 students filed into the office and sat calmly and quietly on floors and couches throughout the office. Numerous students documented the event with photographs and videos. The students sat in protest until midnight, at which point the president of the Georgetown chapter of the NAACP, Alessandra Brown (MSB ‘09), held up the April Fools’ issue, which she had highlighted to demonstrate several of the articles she found offensive, and briefly expressed her anger in an address to The Hoya’s staff. The students then walked out, remaining largely silent.
Today's issue of the paper carried a letter from editor-in-chief Andrew Dwulet – Foolish Decisions Demand Reflection and Dialogue
As usual, it was full of jokes that were crude, but in some cases, it crossed the line. The issue has spurned campus-wide opposition: in a Facebook group with over 200 members, in a town hall meeting, and in a sit-in at THE HOYA office late last night. Flawed as it may have been, we only intended parody. We only intended to indiscriminately “go overboard” and satirize all of the news that has happened this year.
The Facebook group, The Hoya: Discrimination is Not A Laughing Matter has since passed the 300 mark.
A couple of students weighed in with a letter titled Insensitivity Makes April Fools' Issue a Bad Joke. They wrote that the "joke issue of The Hoya was tasteless, disturbing and, above all, not funny."
One of the articles, by "Ryan Westen," who is said to have founded the Georgetown Commission for Unity, makes a plea for "more interracial loving at Georgetown."
These days, things are much more peaceful here on the Hilltop. Only One thing's missing: We don't have enough good old vanilla-chocolate swirl interracial f******.
Image below, courtesy of "Not A Laughing Matter" album.
Hoya April Fools' Issue Controversy Link Dump:
Photos from the protest are available here.
Jim Newell weighed in on NBC Washington: "This is not a good path — ABANDON THE CHOCOLATE-VANILLA IMAGERY..."
For more about Georgetown's newspaper and minority organizations, read City Paper's 2007 article Under Her Skin by Ruth Samuelson.
Top image courtesy Nick Troiano.