To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Moving forward: Don’t let the conversation die

Last week, The Brandeis Hoot published an anonymous opinion article about Department of Community Living policies that we should have been more critical of from the start. We should have investigated the claims, verified the sources and been more transparent with our decision to grant the author anonymity. Our apology to Director Tim Touchette and DCL staff sits on the front page of this week’s paper. While no apology can ever make full reparations, we are determined to continue the conversation that we aimed to start with the piece.

At The Hoot, we pride ourselves on being the “community newspaper.” If sexual violence happens on campus, we want to raise awareness and eradicate the possibility of such harm whenever possible. It was this drive to create awareness in our community as soon as possible that blurred our vision of journalistic integrity. It is also this drive that will lead us to new and more thorough investigations of the issue of sexual violence in the future.

The piece started a conversation, and for that, at the very least, we are grateful. Last week, we wrote an editorial on the Student Union’s efforts to be more transparent and the lack of student response. As a community, we need to ensure that we do not forget about a cause once it feels as if we have “won.” We have not won against sexual violence. We will not even come close, either, until it is a topic that can be discussed more easily.  Last week we failed to start the productive and respectful conversation that we aimed to create.  

Next week, Interim President Lisa Lynch will hold a Town Hall meeting for students to ask questions and start conversations. We hope that the community will join campus media for this meeting. We are, after all, also Brandeis students, and to be involved with the community is essential to our operations. The Hoot intends to investigate any and all claims in order to do justice to survivors.


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