Let’s get this right off the bat: this post is about one particular aspect of the aftermath of the Usdan flyer controversy.
You might have heard of it by now, or maybe even seen it. Yesterday, NBC Connecticut vans were spotted on campus grounds, and we later got word that reporters were trying to squeeze soundbites out of Wes students. Later that night, they ran a news story about the Usdan flyer incident. It was short, it was a little strange, and most disturbingly, it was considerably misleading. Then came the newest update: Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, is denouncing Wesleyan from across the country and calling on the university to apologize for the incident.
There has been much heated debate behind the scenes here in the cyberspace office of Wesleying ever since last Friday’s incident. We as a self-accountable collective of bloggers had to confront very difficult questions: what is our role in the student body? What are our duties? How far can we go with moderation and censorship? How do we balance between protection and preservation of the discussion? Most of these questions went unanswered, simply because they are so grey and difficult.
But when the NBC Connecticut story ran last night, it was pretty clear what needed to be done. Bad reporting on what happened here at Wes needs to be covered, and the viewing lens of the story has to re-calibrated for the benefit of the community. This is precisely what this post will try to do. Now, I just want to make clear that this is an insanely difficult and sensitive thing to write about. And I know I’m probably going to get slammed in the face one way or another for doing something or for not doing another thing or whatever, but fuck it—I’m doing it. This is something of a long piece, so hit me up after the jump.
Oh, and one more thing: if you’re on the NBC Connecticut staff, hello! This is for you. Really.