Members of the community may question our decision to run this week’s front-page story, “Allegations involving APO members reveal internal strife,” which covers allegations of bullying, harassment and hazing. To that, we offer up our explanation as to why we deem this story relevant to our campus climate.
On more than one occasion this week, students approached us, asking for the story to be held or questioning the need to run a story based on a personal conflict. While we certainly agree that this was a personal issue with many details that should remain confidential, we found, through extensive discussion and hours of interviews that this problem had not only begun to impact the organization and its inner workings, but that it also shed light on a much more troubling issue: that the Delta Pi chapter of APO is suffering due to a lack of unified leadership and oversight.
The examples provided in the front-page story detail situations where proper protocol for important things like elections and the reading of a brother-at-large letter were not followed. There must be a system in place, adhered to by all members, that allows for respectful discussion and problem-solving. As it currently stands, this is not the case with APO.
It is because of this larger issue relating to fundamental problems within the organization as well as the lack of factual information in a sea of accusations that we felt the story was necessary. When people step down from their positions and spark speculation, but no specific details are provided to the club members, we feel it is our duty to report the facts so that both individuals involved in APO and general Trinity students have some concrete information presented by a removed and reliable source.
Moreover, this larger APO issue affects the greater Trinity community. As a campus that does not condone hazing in any form or degree, it’s important that all claims are addressed, and that the administration informs students if those allegations prove to be true.
Finally, it doesn’t escape us that one of the individuals involved in this situation is running for ASR president. This factor was given the most consideration in terms of deciding whether or not to hold the story. We were faced with a dilemma in that holding the story until next Friday when elections were over could result in a variety of different outcomes. We could be withholding important information, viewed by some as being relevant to their assessment of the candidate, and possibly allow an individual with questions surrounding their character to assume a very powerful position in campus life. We could also release the information, as we eventually decided to do, but be seen as supporting one candidate over another and facilitating an unfair election.
Ultimately, we decided that giving all of the parties involved a chance to speak out on the issue and address the rumors would be a bigger benefit to Trinity. On behalf of the community, we went behind closed doors and interviewed school administrators and students and asked the hard questions.
All things considered, we encourage the community to observe the reported events, but feel that voters should look beyond the front-page story to both presidential candidates’ platforms, past experience and level of involvement in forming their decision on how to cast their ballots.
Watch the full ASR presidential debates, filmed by TigerTV, online at http://vimeo.com/60196439, or read the recap on Page 4 of the paper edition of the Trinitonian. Be sure to check out the candidates’ guest columns on Page 11 and look over the annual ASR election guide (Pages 7-8). Don’t vote based on accusations that have neither been proven true or false, but rather, vote for whom you think will best represent you and lead our student body into the next academic year.
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