University statement on Cavalier Daily cartoon publication
March 18, 2008
Last week, The Cavalier Daily published two comic strips that have baffled and deeply offended many people, here and elsewhere. This is the third time in three years that The Cavalier Daily has published cartoons that seem to many readers to be both vicious and pointless. As was the case in September when senior members of the Student Affairs staff wrote a letter condemning the "Ethiopian Food Fight" cartoon, we must express our disappointment in the judgment and reasoning that led to the CD's publishing the recent cartoons that mocked Christian beliefs.
Many people are unaware that The Cavalier Daily is both financially and editorially independent of the University, and that student journalists run the paper and assume sole responsibility for its content.
But The Cavalier Daily also operates within the University of Virginia community -- an academic community where intellectual debate is encouraged and free speech is cherished. Just as important, this is a community of respect, open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
These cartoons violated the standards of our University community of trust and respect, as they also violated standards across the country.
The Cavalier Daily is reviewing the policy under which it published these cartoons. Its managing board showed an appropriate measure of respect for community standards by taking swift and meaningful steps to repair the damage done by its earlier errors in judgment. These are steps in the right direction.
We urge the editors, as they begin to undertake a policy review, to include members of our community, as well as outsiders with special expertise, in the group charged with this review.
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Last Modified: Tuesday, 18-Mar-2008 13:51:16 EDT
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