On Tuesday, Nov. 10 senior Oren Steinberg decided to question the Student Government Association’s processes and intentions. Students and faculty expect such conversations to occur respectfully. However, this civility did not occur.
Throughout the open-forum, rude comments were made targeting Steinberg. One student attending the sit-in said, “Want a shovel to keep digging yourself a shallow grave?” He later said, “I was being facetious.”
Members of the SGA interrupted Steinberg as he spoke and interrupted the one individual in the crowd that spoke in Steinberg’s support. However, those who spoke on the SGA’s behalf were able to deliver long speeches.
Most surprisingly, a member of the SGA posted an image on Instagram prior to the sit-in with the caption: “I call this color [of lipstick] ‘blood of my enemies red.’ Come at me, nerds.” This photo has since been removed.
The SGA is supposed to represent the entire student body; it is clear that not all members of the association represent, or want to represent, those that disagree with them.
Just as the SGA is expected to be, The Elm is a representation of the entire student body. Our job, most specifically for news articles, is to relay the facts so individuals on campus or in the community can form their opinions. For this reason, staff writers are expected to interview more than one individual for a story. We also run letters to the editor for individuals or organizations hoping to express their opinions on any matters The Elm does or does not publish.
Prior to running the article titled “SGA Called Into Question” in the Nov. 20 issue, The Elm received several requests and demands by SGA and non-SGA members to keep certain pieces of the story out of the paper.
Our job is never to cause grief or harm to any individual or organization. We do not set out to disparage or embarrass anyone. If an act or a statement does not shed new light or new perspective on the issue at hand, it is not included.
The Elm is not a representation of one belief, one opinion, or one organization of 50 people. We are a voice for a campus of 1,400 students. It is for this reason that The Elm is an unbiased newspaper.
The editors hold themselves to the journalism ethics set forth by the Society of Professional Journalists, the same set of ethics that professional journalists follow. In order to uphold our integrity and remain unbiased, we cannot and do not grant favors for individuals or organizations. Those outside individuals and organizations do not determine what does or does not run in the paper. The editorial staff, with the help of a faculty advisor, determines the content of the paper.
These decisions are, in fact, difficult for even the editorial staff to make, and made even more difficult by the fact that Washington College is such a small school. We put forth what is necessary to inform members of the campus and community. That is our main priority; for that, we do not compromise our ethics.
Editorials represent the collective viewpoint of the entire Elm editorial board.