Monday, April 21, 2014
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From the Board of Directors

To our readers,

We cannot apologize sincerely enough to all those who were offended by the inexcusable editorial judgment exercised in Monday’s annual print-only April Fools’ Day issue of The Daily Free Press. The Free Press has worked tirelessly for nearly 42 years to be an outlet for fair, intelligent student journalism. It is our aim as an independent, nonprofit organization to be a voice for the student body, and Monday’s issue was a black mark on our reputation as such.

In making the ultimate decision to run many of the articles, however well-intentioned, fictional or joking they may have been, Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Diana in no way perpetuated our values as an organization. In light of this, we have asked that Chelsea Diana resign as editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press and president of the Board of Directors of Back Bay Publishing Co., Inc. and she has accepted.  Campus news editor Steph Solis, who was selected to be Fall 2012 editor-in-chief, will be stepping in to fill both positions effective immediately.

Considering the events of this semester and the increasingly vocal, constructive climate of conversation about sexual assault and many other important issues on campus, much of the content of Monday’s issue was incredibly harmful, tasteless and out of line. We have long taken pride in our aggressive and thoughtful treatment of these topics; while the integrity of that coverage is certainly compromised, we hope that together we can move forward and return to the high standards we most often seek to uphold.

Sincerely,
Annie Ropeik
Board of Directors Chairwoman
Spring 2010 Editor-in-Chief
board@dailyfreepress.com

(co-signed: Board of Directors of Back Bay Publishing Co., Inc.)

Read Chelsea Diana’s initial apology letter here

107 Responses for “From the Board of Directors”

  1. The Truth Fairy says:

    Well that’s great! Her resignation accomplished so much! Is everybody happy now and can we all stop complaining?! Thank you.

    • A BRO dwarf says:

      Hahahahahaha. I’m glad we could ruin a girl’s semester in the process ..that’s feminist justice for ya!

      • No. says:

        I hope that no one you love has to ever find out what it’s like to be sexually abused. And I especially hope that no one you love ever has to find out what it’s like to be sexually abused and then see the most traumatic experience of their life made fun of in their college newspaper because April Fools!

        Chelsea is not a victim here. If you make bad decisions, decent humans accept their consequences. It’s just a shame that she’s carrying all the blame.

        • Anonymous says:

          I hope YOU are never the target of mass hysteria perpetuated by a few trolls stalking you…. do you realize that these negative comments result in harassment? Do you know people commit suicide or become depressed after such assaults on their character?

          You’re right though, let’s keep talking about the joke issue, not the real comments perpetuating hate. Great idea !

          • No. says:

            Hi, anon. I’m not saying that she should be harassed. If I did, please quote me. I think that it was the right decision for the Free Press Board to ask her to resign, as she clearly exercises poor professional judgement. That was the specific consequence I was referring to. Thanks for replying.

        • Anon says:

          I hope you’re never the target of a character assault over a faux paux. Monsters

        • COM student says:

          This is more than about her position at the newspaper. This kind of assault on her character might ruin her entire semester. Double standards here

      • jill says:

        It’s not anyone’s job to make her semester better, but it was her job to green-light the articles printed in the paper.

        Also, feminism isn’t about protecting women from their actions. That’s a strange and kind of stupid interpretation of it.

        If she’s smart and thoughtful, she can this into something that carries her forward as a stronger, more discerning person who makes better decisions.

    • Jiub says:

      ? Her resignation was the appropriate action to take in this case. The article was written in poor taste and as editor in chief she had the responsibility to say “No. We aren’t printing that.” Making light of the situation does nothing to help.

  2. dan plucinsky says:

    This is still unacceptable. I am sure she is not the only one with a dirty hand in this terrible, horrible, and disgusting article. I demand justice be brought to all involved, and those responsible for the content to be removed. Anything else would be equally insulting.

    • Anon says:

      I don’t know if you’re trolling or what, but we’ve already ruined one person’s career over what was (admittedly) a terrible joke of an article. At the end of the day responsibility falls on the EIC’s shoulders, and she has apologized and resigned. The FreeP have had their credibility damaged, and they will pay the price for publishing this for a long time to come. We don’t need to go on a witch hunt.

      • LOGIC says:

        How is it a “witch hunt” to fire the specific people who were responsible for the offensive content? It’s only a witch hunt if you’re going after people who have done nothing wrong. Their misdeeds are on record and in writing.
        And “we” didn’t ruin her career- she did.

  3. Freep alum says:

    Any wonder why the Freep isn’t generating the kind of newsroom atmosphere, activity, and success it once had? Drastic, alarmist moves like this.

    So it seems the EIC published a bush-league April Fool’s issue, and has caught the ire of a loud minority. A minority consisting of armchair feminists, snide COM students, and troll local media reviewers.

    The feminists, they have an “on” switch with sexual issues (regardless of the circumstances), and this edition happened to have the unfortunate luck to catch the attention of some. Think of it like a 30-year flood. Just gotta ride it out.

    The COM students, on the other hand, delight to sit back, criticize their campus’ only independent student journalism outlet, and coast on through to graduation. After all, if they’re *not* making mistakes while *not* doing any field work, it’s even easier for them to point out the mistakes of those who are. As they point out so loudly, nobody reads the Freep, so why bother?

    Go figure, this was the issue of the Freep they decided to pick up.

    The entire issue in question here was fiction. Satire. A dud of a joke, repeated a handful of times in one dud issue. Since when does the Free Press cave so easily to outside pressures?

    Chelsea, your April Fool’s issue sucked. The rest of your work this semester has been solid, and especially ironic props go to your comprehensive coverage of the conversation surrounding sexual assault. I’m sorry the Board’s panic has put you out of your unpaid 70-hour job.

    As for the rest of the newsroom, hang tight. Don’t let the loud minority make you feel any less worthy or appreciated. My time at the freep was a defining time during my undergrad years, and has led to many more places than you’d expect. Better things are ahead.

    Board of Trustees, grow a pair. This is a case study of letting one mistake grow into a PR nightmare. Social media makes it easy for a minority to seem like a lynch mob, and it’s up to you to maintain a level of stability and continuity in the newsroom. This was a very weak move, spurred on by the hate of a loud few.

    • BU says:

      Well stated. Everyone needs to untie their panties and realize that this was a JOKE (bad? sure. ill-timed? maybe!) but nonetheless a joke. Get over yourselves… most of BU’s student population talks like this on a regular basis, so who are the one’s complaining so loudly? Why don’t you take your soapbox to the dining hall and listen-in on a few BU student conversations…I’m sure you’ll have plenty to make them apology for after you’re done listening.

      • Mike Anton says:

        If any newspaper sounded like the conversations at West Campus dining hall, then we’d truly reach the end of respectable civilization. This is a NEWS PAPER, anonymous commenter, one that has already covered the incredibly embarrassing and reprehensible sexual assault cases that has made BU nationally known. This is a further embarrassment, much like your use of “untie their panties” must be to any woman in your life.

    • Marspon says:

      Minority? Are you trying to discredit the very valid criticism of that rape jokes are not okay just because you believe it’s a minority group’s problem? The minority group being women, more than half the school’s population, who have to work twice as hard to protect themselves from possible abuse?

      If that’s what you’re saying then I don’t know what to think of the Free Press anymore. The fact that you may be a Freep alumni does not help the misogynistic image the DFP has created for itself this past day,

    • BU2012 says:

      Incredibly well stated. I would hate to see what would happen to this world if people like dan plucinsky had any more say in things. Chelsea, keep your head up, it was a shitty decision today but you’ve done great things to even make it to that position. The white knights will be finished with their tarring and feathering eventually.

      • Alison says:

        I take offense to the implication that all of this is about women being uptight and upset over a joke. Some of you are just pushing the very insulting and damaging idea that women who are upset over misogynist issues or sexual assault jokes are overly-sensitive. It is very inappropriate.

        Also, I can tell you as someone who wanted Ms. Diana to resign, I wish her well. I’m not looking to tar or feather anyone. She made a mistake and mistakes have consequences. Now we and the DFP can move on from this and try to heal.

      • nicole mallia says:

        If “people like Dan Plucinsky” had more say in things, perhaps we wouldn’t still be immersed in a culture where it’s acceptable to defend those who make light of sexual assault.

        • Charlie says:

          No, if people like “Dan Plucinsky” had more say in things, we would have a culture of censorship. It’s (bad) satire. Grow up.

        • caitmeister says:

          Bad satire. Irresponsible journalism (at a school famous for its journalism program). Potato potahto.

    • Stephen says:

      If this were a real newspaper they would be sued for millions, which is what the board is concerned about. You see, what people neglect to understand is that this is coming off of a situation here at the University; The apparent culture which allows rape (real incidents which have happened this semester). Instead of getting all worked up about the minority, etc; why don’t we ask the girls who were sexually assaulted if this joke is funny or not?

      The board acted to protect the interests of the greater majority. This is what happens in the real world; a scape goat is found and made an example of, to stave off lawsuits.

      • Actual lawyer says:

        Really, genius? I’d love some sort of statute or case cite because in 20 years of legal practice (including media outlets), I’m unaware of a successful lawsuit brought as a result of a parody (a bad parody, admittedly, but still a parody) in which people were generally “offended.” If lawsuits could be won simply because someone is generally offended by something written or published, I’d have Rush Limbaugh’s head over my mantle.

        • Not an actual lawyer says:

          I woud ask for money, though, instead of people’s heads. Because really, after the first couple of weeks, meh.

    • Alum says:

      Co-sign.

      This was a horrible incident that shouldn’t have happened, but if you let Chelsea go, you need to let the entire staff go who was a part of writing these articles.

    • Gail Cain says:

      Finally, a voice of reason. One article does not define an entire semester of hard work and dedication. Hold your head high, Chelsea, and don’t let one lynch mob deter you from achieving the journalistic goals that are so rightfully yours.

    • jill says:

      Well, which is it: a joke or a mistake?

      If it’s a joke, who was it aimed at? We know feminists didn’t find it funny. Rape survivors and their families and loved ones didn’t find it funny. Women probably didn’t find it funny. English majors didn’t like it, comics didn’t think it was funny, soroity sisters didnt’ like it, a lot of fraternity brothers didn’t like it, the BU staff didn’t find it funny, BU parents and alumni didn’t think it was funny, BU professors didn’t like it, I don’t think theater majors liked it, people with fond memories of Disney didn’t like it, April Fool’s Day afficiandos didn’t like it, men who like women didn’t like it, men who dislike rape jokes didn’t like it, men who like a really good joke didn’t think it was funny, men who like well-written fiction didn’t like it, criminal jusice majors and the security staff of BU didn’t find it funny.

      I’m stumped. Just who was supposed to find this funny? What huge majority population of BU was supposed to find this a knee-slapping funny joke?

  4. Seriously says:

    Seriously?!? This reads as if Chelsea is the only one working at this paper and is solely responsible for what happened. It is a good thing that you took action to correct the unfortunate events but you would crucify one of your own to save your own skins? This is complete cowardice and frankly I find it even worse than the fact that you guys let the article run in the first place. It is an insult to my intelligence to try and get me to believe that Chelsea is the only one with a guilty conscience here. She may have ultimately approved the articles but someone wrote them and I have a hard time believing no one else read them before they got to print. She messed up and faced the consequences, too bad you guys can’t do the same. Sleep well knowing that one of your employees is probably a mess right now because you made her face this alone. I don’t even know the girl and this is infuriating.

    • Marspon says:

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. While I am upset that the issue was allowed to be published it’s insulting that they let Chelsea shoulder all the blame and kick her out as a bandaid solution to this problem. I’m more curious of what kind of culture the DFP had that allowed such articles to be published with no one speaking up to how f–ked up they sounded.

    • Mike Anton says:

      That is the risk that comes with the job. She’s editor-in-chief – everything that she decides is fit to print IS what is printed. She gave the final okay, which means she’s first in line to go. This is how it works at a real newspaper, which the Freep is. Also, I have no idea what “She messed up and faced the consequences” means, considering these ARE the consequences, but no matter.

  5. Patricia Spelling says:

    This is such a crock of shit. I’ve been reading the Free Press since I came to BU almost 3 years ago. I respected their reporting and their dedication. I loved the crosswords and the sudoku. I really enjoyed the spoof April Fool’s issue each year.

    But this? Seriously? Wow.

    Why don’t you ladies working “The Board” just bend over and take it some more… because your sensitivity to negative PR just made one of your women a victim.

    Idiots.

    • Jean says:

      Really? You decided to say “bend over and take it” when the paper in question is talking about sexual assault?

    • Alison says:

      Your assertion about the Board is insulting. The Board is not just made up of women and honestly, the kind of language you’re using is inappropriate and no less nasty than what the Daily Free Press published.

      • Patricia Spelling says:

        Take a good hard look at the comment section under Chelsea’s apology letter…then have the nerve to tell me that “the other side” hasn’t gotten person or disgusting with their language…

        You commenting trolls deserve worse. And the board deserves worse for allowing those types of comments to be posted and to succomb to the demands of the loud fraternity jokers.

        “I’d love to go out tonight to (unnamed frat house), but I don’t feel like being drugged”
        -REAL Quote overheard in the dining hall from a BU girl

        • ktoe says:

          Really? A girl doesn’t want to get drugged? What an asshole.

          Get over yourself. You find that kind of thing funny? You’ve got problems. She was held accountable for a mistake. Being held accountable for your actions is not the same as being a victim of a crime.

          And this makes BU look even better. Stalkers, peeping toms, rapists, students cheating on tests, hazing… and shitty April Fool’s jokes about rape. Wonderful. Get us in the real newspapers again.

          Her direct involvement in writing the story is not an issue. She accepted the request to stand down. She screwed up her job.

  6. caitmeister says:

    I’m glad she’s accepted her resignation, and as long as she learned her lesson she can recover from a bad mistake she made in college. Hopefully she understands now the difference between a “politically incorrect” joke and being insensitive (and awful). If you don’t know where the line is, better play it safe. This time, that lesson cost her the position.

    That said, she didn’t put that paper out by herself. Where’s everyone else? Are there no consequences for the rest of them? To put that paper out in this political climate, both at BU and in this country, is to be truly out of touch with what’s going on around you (please tell me, as members of a newspaper, that you’ve heard of the War on Women by now, or how less-than-stellar our hockey team treats the ladies). One person resigning is not even the least you could do. Some shame is appropriate.

    • BU Student says:

      This. My sincere thanks to Chelsea Diana for doing the responsible thing and resigning, but I am saddened that there appear to be no consequences for the writers of the articles or the other board members who approved the issue. Chelsea, you’re choosing to be an adult in this situation and that speaks volumes to your character despite this mistake. The rest of you? Not so much.

    • Current BU Student says:

      Well said… as I commented on another reader’s response, pathetic is the person at the Freep who washes his/her hands and says, “I was only following orders”. In a collective humiliation such as this, *EVERYONE* at the Freep is at least partly culpable. You are absolutely right: Chelsea Diana didn’t just slap this edition together. There is plenty of blame and shame to go around.

    • anon says:

      I agree with this. Chelsea Diana holds blame (she wrote the first article, and allowed other articles to run when they were problematic), and should have stepped down.

      That being said, she is not the ONLY one at fault. There were other articles that perpetuated and mocked sexual violence, and other people who wrote them who deserve sanctions handed out by the FreeP. Not only that, but BU is an environment where people, and other commenters on this article, believe that sexual violence is a joke, and this lashback only comes from “armchair feminists”. And you people, those of who who believe that sexual violence is okay, are to blame. You are perpetuating and encouraging rape culture. You are allowing people in your community to be raped by LAUGHING at it.

      I hope the other reporters are ashamed. I hope they are named. And I hope the vehemence with which this issue was followed up on compels all of Boston University to look critically at rape culture, and move to deconstruct it.

  7. Aurelio15 says:

    I am from Los Angeles, California. Someone really close to me writes for the Daily Free Press. I really hope this doesn’t affect her career in the future. The whole reason why she is putting herself through debt in loans, is to attend the prestigious journalism program BU offers. This has been her dream since she was a little girl, to be a journalists.

    I do not attend BU, I have never been to Boston, but I hear great things! I sure hope everyone there can quickly get over this whole incident, and acknowledge the paper for the great things they have written. Some of which I have had the pleasure of reading, thanks to my talented gf, who to me is the most talented person and passionate person I know. Which to me says a lot about the great people who she has the privileged to work with.

    • Current BU Student says:

      Aurelio,

      Unfortunately this little incident (which some people inexplicably think only a “minority” has a problem with it and that everyone should just take a chill pill and move on) has smeared the professional resumes of everyone at DFP. There are plenty of employers who will now track where a potential staff writer/beat reporter was in spring of 2012, and some hard questions will be asked. Woe be to anyone who says, “I was only following orders”. On the contrary, if a young writer says, “I left the Freep because I was disgusted with what we published on that day, and my principles and values do not allow me to associate any longer with the paper”, then that shows strength of character and integrity that everyone should applaud.

      Having said all this, I do wish your girlfriend well, and that she finds journalism an enjoyable and (when done with integrity) and honorable profession.

      • Alumni In the News Business says:

        Smear the professional resumes of everyone at the DFP? Get off your high horse. A majority of the staff at the DFP are some of the hardest working people at BU. The mistakes of a few will not ruin the future careers of everyone else. If you really think a publication will not hire because of an ill-tasted April Fool’s article rather than their own personal reporting/writing skills then you have NO IDEA how the real world works. If anyone from the FreeP is reading this, including Chelsea Diana, your future careers are NOT over. Take this for what it is: a learning experience. I look forward to seeing the amazing things you will do in the future as a response to this.

      • Alum says:

        Woah — this incident forever smeared the resumes of the whole staff? That’s hyperbole verging on hysteria. The April Fool’s Day issue was a dumb mistake, but let’s not overreact here. It sounds like you have some misplaced vendetta against the Freep.

      • Do you? says:

        Do you people even listen to anything but FOXNews? What’s with the dramatic hysteria?!

        Not only was it a print-only edition, not only did none of the major news outlets publish the entire issue (just a picture of the front page), but NOBODY CARES outside of the small fraternity brothers! Do you really think editors for major newspapers across the country have nothing better to do than blacklist a bunch of sophomores IN CASE they decide to continue in journalism!?

        GIVE ME A BREAK!

  8. Jean says:

    I am appalled at the Freep’s April Fools article. I don’t care if it was a joke – it was insensitive, triggering, and in the worst taste. Thank you for stepping down Chelsea, it shows that you realize that what you allowed to be published was not funny in any way, shape, or form.

    Now, what about the rest of the insensitive writers who joked about girls being raped and roofied at frat parties, women ‘stupid enough to give a blow job to an undercover officer’ and missing girls who are found bruised, tied up, and dead in the Charles? Chelsea was not the only member of the Freep who wrote in the paper and she should not be the only one to step down.

  9. [...] paper’s editorial board has issued an apology and asked for Chelsea Diana, the paper’s editor, to [...]

  10. BU Alum says:

    Why does ANYONE need to resign over this? It’s an article…published on April Fools Day. Every year the Freep puts out an issue on this day that’s a complete joke and so what if it’s offensive? Deal with it. You don’t have the right in this country NOT to be offended. I contend that no mistake was made in publishing the article and Chelsea deserves her job back.

  11. Ashamed says:

    “fair, intelligent student reporting” – your journalistic integrity is nonexistent. This girl was young and made a HUGE mistake, but every single person who works at the Freep is at fault. Not only is this resolution failing to fix THIS problem, it’s also not fixing the fact that writers and reporters of the Freep misquote and misrepresent almost every person I know, time and time again. The Freep needs to go or completely rework the way it reports and writes.. There’s also something to be said about the general student population who wants to tar-and-feather one girl for this edition of the Freep, but fails to feel as upset when sexual assault after sexual assault happens on our campus and no one in power is doing anything about it? Priorities?

    • Research before you speak says:

      “fair intelligent student reporting” is NOT what an April Fool’s article even pretends to be! It’s LABELED as FICTION!!

  12. bobby dee says:

    aurelio, don’t worry. out in the real world people don’t give a rat’s ass over the ravings of lunatic humorless feminists. this while situation is a joke. i graduated in 1989, and back then there was pride in being one of the last non-politically correct schools in new england. i see now that the professional grievance mongers have put their speech codes on BU as well. sad. silber would have never stood for it.

    • likereally says:

      Yeah it’s almost like the world changed in the 23 years since you’ve been at BU. You’re probably closer to retirement than you are being a student, stop living in the past.

      • bobby dee says:

        yeah, back then chicks were getting rufied and dp’ed by the thousands. things are much better now.

    • jill says:

      Feminists aren’t the only people who are raped and they aren’t the only people who find rape jokes not funny.

      It’s amazing to me that someone can walk over to you and say, bobby dee, I didn’t think that rape story in the newspaper was funny, it makes light of a very serious issue and makes people think rape is not that big a deal, when it is. It’s especially a big deal on campus.

      and your response? Fuc k off.

      • bobby dee says:

        free speech is free speech. we’ve had it since 1789, no thanks to you young whippersnappers with your twitters and cell phones and speech codes. the biggest crime here was that the story was not funny. getting rufied by the 7 dwarves has some comedic potential. but the writer needs to stick with reporting on student union grievances and leave the comedy to the pros. as for jill, get a sense of humor.

        • jill says:

          Nice try, but that’s not what free speech is. Free speech means that the GOVERNMENT can’t squelch speech. And even if free speech means what you think it means, which it doesn’t, it wouldn’t just apply to someone’s freedom to print rape jokes, it would also apply to the community’s freedom to bitch about it later. And if enough people bitch about something with enough intensity, the smart thing would be for someone somewhere to take action to appease all those angry people. So, if free speech meant what you think it did, this would be a perfect example of it working perfectly.

          Also, why am I the only one who needs a sense of humor here, you didn’t find it funny either.

          • bobby dee says:

            it was an april fools issue. a bad one. that’s it. no need for apologies, or sensitivity classes, or a new BU Center for Transgendered People with Hurt Feelings. So a bad attempt at humor offended you…. big deal. Obama offends me every day.

  13. [...] (CBS/AP) — Boston University’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press, is apologizing for an April Fools’ spoof of rape and [...]

  14. alum from long ago says:

    This was a mistake but the board is wrong to elevate it into a massive bruhaha that lays the blame on one person. Get off your high horses. This is a student news organization. Such a pompous stance.

  15. Get over it says:

    It’s funny how last night you snarling pack of wolverines were out for blood. Now that the offending editor has been canned, you decry the paper for throwing her under the bus. Your hive mind mob mentality is absurd and juvenile.

    Chelsea made a mistake. To preserve the integrity of the paper she stepped down. I’ve always enjoyed reading the Freep, I know they work hard, and moving forward they will continue to be a fantastic publication. What’s done is done. She will move on, the paper will move on, now it’s your turn.

    Long live the Freep!

    • CAS says:

      Finally a sensical comment!

      • Over it says:

        I mostly agree with you but I doubt that the ones personally attacking Chelsea last night are the same ones who are upset at the Daily Free Press making her resign today. There are a lot of people on the internet you know.

  16. BU Alum says:

    I am sad to say this is not the first time I have been ashamed of the Daily Free Press, but at least this time they are attempting to take responsibility for their actions.

    If you think this is a BU issue, or a Boston problem, it’s not. It doesn’t just stain the reputation of the Freep, it stains the reputation of all of us. I graduated years ago, and live in another city, and I have had co-workers asking me about this disgusting article now that it has been sent around the internet.

    I’m sorry Chelsea has to step down and I am sure she worked hard to earn her position, but rape jokes in any context are unacceptable at any time, especially with the climate at BU right now. She runs the paper, and has made the adult choice to take responsibility for something that happened on her watch, and I applaud her for that.

    • Anon says:

      Too bad that the sheltered trust fund (cry) babies at BU will just find some loophole in this. Is the NY Times reputable enough for everyone? Stop whining, it was a fictional piece and you knew that going into it. If you’re offended, don’t read it!

  17. City Angel says:

    It was a joke, get off your high horses. Move on people. Have read many great articles over the years from the DFP. Best of luck, Chelsea and everyone on the staff. Keep plugging!

  18. BU Student says:

    As a regular reader of the Daily Free Press, I have been greatly disappointed as I watched the events of the past few days unfold. Disappointed that the FreeP ran the story, yes. But even more so, I am disappointed that this became a virtual crucifixion of Chelsea Diana, and that after a semester of tireless work a single mistake has suddenly given everyone else the right to place their own judgment on her and her character.

    Was I appalled by the articles published by the FreeP on April Fool’s Day? Yes? Should they have been allowed to run? No. As Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Free Press, was this entire fiasco ultimately Chelsea’s responsibility? Yes.

    But I think if we step back and look at the big picture, it seems unfair to drag Chelsea’s name through the mud because of this isolated incident. The Daily Free Press isn’t the only media outlet to poke fun at serious matters, and I think that if this same article were published in, say, The Onion, more than a few BU students would have gotten a laugh out of it. While many have argued that the article was especially insensitive due to the university’s recent problems and the fact that sexual assault is so close to home for us now, I have another question: how many of you have called the stairs behind the science building the “rape stairs”, or during finals week talked about how you “raped” your exam or your exam “raped” you. I think the answer would be higher than most people like to admit.

    In short, I believe that the Daily Free Press should not have published the article, and that it was noble—and perhaps necessary—of Chelsea to take responsibility for the mistake and step down from her position. But I think the witch hunt can end here, and it’s time to step back and learn from these mistakes. I, for one, will exercise more caution now if I ever start to bandy around the term “rape” too freely. The April Fool’s Day article brought and important issue to the forefront of the university’s attention, albeit in a crass and insensitive manner. After all, isn’t that what satire is intended to do?

  19. Gary says:

    It;s hilarious how some of you think that BU has a “rape culture”. HELLO, it’s not BU culture, it’s a COLLEGE culture. Actually, BU is doing so much more than more schools in combatting it.

    Do you seriously think that other schools don’t have rapes? You don’t think other schools do not experience assaults?yout think athletes in prominent football and basketball programs don’t get rape charges, not only dropped, but are not even dismissed from their team.

    It must be nice to live in a glass bubble.

    • jill says:

      So the way you would combat rape is to make light of it and tell rape jokes?

      • bobby dee says:

        the way to combat rape is to put rapists in jail, and give women free shooting lessons. more jails + more guns = less crime.

      • Concerned Alum says:

        I’m not entirely sure that’s what was said Jill…slow your roll girl

  20. Jeffrey L. Leiter says:

    I think everyone is missing the point.
    This is not a feminist issue. This is not a PR nightmare. This is not a little incident. This is not a case of a loud minority jumping on a sensitive issue. This is not a case of acceptable talk by students or anyone. Sexual assault is demeaning on the victim, their loved ones, and their families. Sexual assault can devastate the victims lives for an incalculable. period of time. Rape is no more acceptable or humorous than students shooting students in classrooms or academic inappropriate tests.
    IT IS A CRIME. It is not something to make light of, joke about, or tolerated. Journalism has a long and respected history in America. In recent decades, though, have pushed the envelope in attempts to bolster circulation, misrepresent facts to support subliminal agendas, or desensitize/sway public opinion. Regardless of the opinions of the commentors, the “April Fool’s” issue should never have gotten past the potty room conversation.
    Legitimate journalists and publications should realize, first and foremost, that they have a duty to represent the truth in their reporting of any issues. They must realize the impact that each and every word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph has on their readers. They must consider their professional ethics in every article they write. They must understand the results of their actions. Everyone involved must be held accountable for their participation in any article or issue. One person can not be held as a scapegoat to exonerate bad publicity or the shame of a group of reporters. Any and all participants in this debauchery should be held accountable.
    My daughter was raped on April 1st. Where is the humor in that?

  21. Martha Perry says:

    If you want to know if what you are doing to remedy this “joke”, ask a man or woman who has been raped. Punishment is OK, but personal growth is better. Dedicate your group to education on sex and violence and act, as in not just think about it, but do something to help your university and fellow students.

  22. Former editor says:

    While the resignation of Chelsea Diana was perhaps necessary, this virtual lynch mob needs to stop immediately. Just as everyone on this thread clearly agrees rape is not a joke, neither are threats towards a 19-year-old college newspaper editor. The FreeP made a mistake but everyone does – it’s time to pick up the pieces and move on.

    • Crimson Writer says:

      Wise words. Everyone should calm down and carry on. This kind of stuff could happen to anyone.

  23. Jonathan says:

    Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, Denouncing or Deriding VICE…vice are held up to scorn, Derision, or Ridicule.

    I am pleased that BU has finally done away with this literary device. It never worked well.

    Regards,

    Jonathan Swift

    • jill says:

      Jonathan Swift would not have characterized that as satire.

      Also, anytime you use the dictionary to prove a point, you automatically lose. Because it’s just stupid.

      Listen, why don’t you go talk to some English teachers and see how many of the characterize this as satire? And then ask them why they don’t.

      • Jonathan says:

        Quite right. My reference to cannibalism of one year old infants in dealing with the poor Irish Catholics of my time was in bad taste. I could have merely recommended that they all be shipped to Boston. I crossed the line, but I had hoped it would spark a nationwide discussion about the plight of the poor.
        You are correct that using a dictionary is stupid.
        I also should have asked English teachers about satire first, as they are the final arbiters of what is appropriate speech.

        I do have a question about your culture though as I have been here since 1745. I am told that a place of holly and wood produces flickering paintings which celebrate debauchery, drunkenness and use of drugs called “roofies”, and being “hungover”, and that this is somehow funny. And that many people spend their money to support such sinfulness, instead of giving to the poor, needy and victims of crime. Also, John Harvard tells me that colleges are now places where some young people engage in drunkenness, debauchery, etc., rather than focus on the intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Can all this be true?

        Perhaps, there ought to be a national discussion regarding the degradation of the culture, including at ALL college campuses because it seems it is not an isolated problem. Do you have a suggestion as to how you can get that started?

        I look forward to your reply.

        Sincerely,

        Johnathan “not so” Swift

      • Jonathan says:

        Quite right. My reference to cannibalism of one year old infants in dealing with the poor Irish Catholics of my time was in bad taste. I could have merely recommended that they all be shipped to Boston. I crossed the line, but I had hoped it would spark nationwide discussion
        You are correct that using a dictionary is stupid.
        I also should have asked English teachers about satire first, as they are the final arbiters of what is appropriate speech.
        I do have a question about your culture though as I have been here since 1745. I am told that a place of holly and wood produces flickering paintings which celebrate debauchery, drunkenness and use of drugs called “roofies”, and being “hungover”, and that this is somehow funny. And that many people spend their money to support such sinfulness, instead of giving to the poor, needy and victims of crime. Also, John Harvard tells me that colleges are now places where some young people engage in drunkenness, debauchery, etc., rather than focus on the intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Can all this be true?

        Perhaps, there ought to be a national discussion regarding the degradation of the culture, including at ALL college campuses as this is not an isolated problem. Do you have a suggestion as to how that conversation can get started?

        Sincerely,

        Johnathan “not so” Swift

  24. foster says:

    Congratulations to the Boston University Daily Free Press and congratulations to the students of Boston University who answered the clarion call to be sure the issue of sexual assault is at the forefront of campus conversation. The recent problems of sexual assault at BU are not issues that should be swept under the rug or relegated to conversations among administrators in the back rooms of administration offices. Those people have the principal purpose of presenting the University in the most positive light possible. These are real issues that require open discussion and are appropriately the topic of satire. It is the FreeP’s duty to shine a journalistic bright light on them in both the regular, carefully researched reports of the day and in the April Fool’s Day edition. I would be disappointed in the integrity of the FreeP if it were to avoid this issue in its satirical edition. It is one of the higher purposes of the FreeP to provoke discussion of current issues of importance in the student community regardless of how sensitive those issues may be. And one of the best ways to do that is the time honored practice of satire. Undoubtedly, the alternate edition stories were intended to provoke reaction, outrage and, most importantly, discussion and self examination. Congratulations to the FreeP for having the journalistic courage to put out an edition that was intended to shock the readers. The resulting campus conversation will benefit the entire community.
    I am diappointed the Board did not have the committment to its editors to stand behind them. That is the real harm. In the future, will editors have the courage and commitmmet to address controversial subjects knowing their Board may well “throw them under the bus” the next day? Journalists are not supposed to win popularity contests. Indeed, the best publications are the most provocative.

  25. Jonathan says:

    I am pleased that BU finally disposed of satire as a literary device. It never worked to promote discussion of serious political or social issues.

    Regards,

    Jonathan Swift

  26. Gil says:

    ummm… for those of us not in Boston but view this article online — ummm… what happened?

  27. [...] * “We cannot apologize sincerely enough,” says board of directors [...]

  28. Alum 2007 says:

    It was an April Fools joke. Sadly, people in the US have become scared to offend anybody. BU is supposed to have one of the best Communications schools in the US, yet we are scared to offend somebody? That is the true joke. It is a harsh world…if somene can’t handle it, they have issues.

    • Foregone Conclusion says:

      Sorry, pal. If you see rape as a laughing matter, or someone being too sensitive about rape humor, then you’ve got the issues.

      • bobby dee says:

        Murder is kinda worse than rape, right? Aren’t Biggie’s lyrics about murder kinda funny? AC/DC’s lyrics about dirty deeds done dirt cheap? Anything can be made into humor. Within 10 years there will be some good 9/11 jokes, I promise you. So get off your high horse and laugh a little.

        • Foregone Conclusion says:

          Tell you what. Give me your address, I’ll come over with my strap-on, and we’ll laugh about it afterwards. I’m sure you’ll find that hysterical, right?

          • Don't Jump To Conclusions says:

            Afterwards can you come over and murder me and then we could sit down and watch an action comedy…

            I think you missed the point, but that’s a forgone conclusion.

          • bobby dee says:

            you come over my house with the seven dwarves and a bottle of rufies and i guarantee you i’ll find that hysterical.

  29. dangleparticiple says:

    There IS such a thing as bad publicity. This is in The Huffington Post, Fox News, etc. Chelsea Diana may have resigned, but this stuff is going to follow her around for a verrrrrry long time. When are people going to realize that these internet dustbunnies don’t disappear? Try proactively shielding yourself from humiliation going forward instead of doing ridiculous damage control after the fact. As a writer, ask “is this something I can be proud of? Is this something I want a potential employer reading?” And if not….DON’T PUBLISH IT. So simple.

  30. [...] latest student journalist to step down as a result of an April Fool’s misfire is Chelsea Diana, who was editor in chief of The [...]

  31. [...] Diana (aka former Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Diana, whose resignation was announced this morning in a letter from the Board of Directors), reads, “Seven frat dwarves were arrested last night after they allegedly drugged and gang [...]

  32. Jeremy Pooser says:

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  33. Don't Hate the Freep says:

    Don’t hate the Freep.

    Yes, the stories were insensitive and in bad taste. They should not have been published and it is a serious mistake. The stories reflected poorly on the university, its students, and the paper. They ruined the credibility of the editors who wrote them, but also ruined the credibility of the budding journalists on the Freep staff who had nothing to do with the April Fools edition.
    Should Chelsea be the only one to take the fall? No. All of the editors who wrote that issue should be to blame.
    Should the paper itself be to blame? No. None of the staff writers had any part in the April Fools edition, nor knew of its content. However, this “down with Freep” mob is casting blame across the whole publication. The majority of the writers’ careers are being critically injured by this incident and they simply had nothing to do with it.

    In today’s editorial: “We do not defend our actions, nor do we condone any kind of sexual assault being trivialized in a desensitized manner. Moreover, we want to emphasize that the material published was written by editors — not staff writers — of The Daily Free Press.”
    http://dailyfreepress.com/2012/04/03/staff-edit-to-our-readers/

    Don’t cast judgement on the entire paper because of the mistakes of a few writers. The integrity of the paper has been hurt because of the April Fools issue, but it should not have to remain so. The Freep strives for excellence and, I’m sure, it will try to continue toward that goal after we all get past this.

  34. [...] latest student journalist to step down as a result of an April Fool’s misfire is Chelsea Diana, who was editor in chief of The Daily [...]

  35. Ed Cafasso, COM '83 says:

    So, I’d like to add a little context and perspective here, because that’s where the lessons lie in this episode. I worked at the Freep from 1979 through 1983, when I graduated with a degree in journalism. I held a number of positions at the Freep, including editor in chief in my final semester. At the time, there was a great deal of crime on campus, some student on student incidents, but mostly as a result of being an open, urban campus at a time when Boston’s crime rate was soaring.

    I was among the editors and reporter who fought hard and successfully to open the campus police logs to the public as a way to increase awareness, reasoning that better information would lead to better precautions and more prevention. I was also the first police reporter for the Freep. And, to varying degrees, I happily participated in four April Fool’s issues of the paper. That’s my personal context.

    The context for this unfortunate episode is the context of real-world journalism because that’s what the Daily Free Press is. It is an independent daily newspaper published by students for a very large and diverse community. It is supported by advertisers. It has a publisher and a board. It has paid management. With all that comes a responsibility. Not to be perfect. Not to avoid offending anyone. Not to shy away from the edge. But a responsibility to inform the community, exercise good judgment and to learn the craft. It’s college and you will make mistakes. Hell, you will make mistakes throughout your careers. It’s just that when you get out of college and into a professional organization, there are far more checks and balances against poor judgment.

    And that’s what was exercised on April 2 in the Free Press — poor judgment. It’s hard to think of a context n which rape and sexual assault is appropriate satire. Certainly not in a daily, advertiser-supported newspaper published for a diverse five-figure, campus readership. The ability to find a proper context for that kind of satire shrinks to instantly quickly when the campus in question is BU at this moment in time.

    Given the number of campus issues to satirize — how about unveiling the plans for a new COM building, finally — the choice in this instance reflected really poor judgment. It wasn’t evil intent. It was just not well thought out. When poor judgment moves into the public domain through publishing, there are actions and reactions and the community can debate all it wants what is appropriate. In the real world, there are also consequences. Sometimes you get called into the publisher’s office and yelled at. Sometimes you get hate mail and public criticism. Sometimes you get fired.

    A couple of other things. This will not and should not end Chelsea’s career. It is a lesson learned the hard way. That’s what a place like the Free Press is for. There are thousands of Free Press alumni throughout the country who hold various positions of authority and responsibility in journalism and other communications fields. Every one of them will tell you they made mistakes in (and out of) college. As long as she Chelsea works hard to get better at what she does and demonstrates that she has learned from it, she will move past this and be successful.

    The Free Press is and always has been an important institution in the BU community. As an alum and former editor, I’m not proud of what happened April 2. But, remember, context is important. An occasional instance of poor judgment shoud be seen as just that; it should not diminish decades of admirable service. It won’t for me.

  36. ted thorne says:

    Nothing to apologise for.
    Women will always complain about anything, broken nails to split ends claiming that the world owes them! LOL

  37. Fredsky says:

    Wait a minute, the editor was a woman, how can se be wrong about a woman’s issue? It is like a black person being wrong abut something that has to do with race – it is impossible! If a woman thought it was funny then it must have been funny, otherwise the entire edifice of political correctness begins to crumble. And it can not be allowed to happen!!!

  38. ted thorne says:

    Should apologise to all teh males who have been wrongly accused of rape, but that is a big acceptable joke for women.

  39. Ashley says:

    Aside from the article being offensive, it wasn’t funny. The jokes were just BAD and took absolutely no thought. The writing sucked. There was nothing compelling about it, and no real thought or concept behind it. Also, I’m pretty sure prostitution was misspelled on the front page. The images were also poor quality. It would have been better if you had some illustration of Cinderalla that was relevant to the article instead of just a Disney photo. It could just be my monitor/the PDF I’m looking at, but the top photo also looks fuzzy. There is nothing in your paper that draws in readers other than cheap, shitty jokes.
    You also have single words taking up entire lines. Even though I have never done editorial layout specifically, I was taught in my first, basic, staple, crappy little design class that you never do that. Maybe the standard rules are different for editorial stuff and I’m not aware, but it bothers me so I decided to point it out.
    Take some initiative to improve the standards of your paper as a whole. Read over what you have before sending it out. Take some classes/google basic information on what you do. USE YOUR INNER MAGIC AND ASCEND TO GREATNESS, YEAH?

  40. Millard Bunson says:

    The staff should be applauded for expanding the concept of outrage to include something that doesn’t “the ‘N’ word” or deal with the determination of Jihad as art form. I personally find that any depiction of a Disney character in congress with another (whether elected or not {yes a comment on the current in flagrante delicto vissicitudes of the potus on the scotus}) to be dwarfed by the prior cartoony relationship of a top heavy redhead and a conjugal rabbit (I applauded her self realization that ‘I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way’). I do draw umbrage that while the arboreal board does have the authority to request resignation, I hope they don’t miss the irony of Chelsea’ station now being empty and the train not having anywhere to stop.
    And that is funny.

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