In the last issue of Arthur Newspaper, published on November 21st, 2016, I reported on events that took place off campus, and have received criticism centering on campus safety for the way I reported on it. The first being reporting unconfirmed information that was later debunked. The second being contributing to an environment where women do not feel comfortable on campus.
To begin with, the event I reported on involved a student flashing a group of Trent Conservatives shortly after the election. When I received this information from a member of the group, I was able to confirm it with police in a relatively short period of time. Also included in the article were the reports of men running across Faryon bridge in ski masks. The story of ski masks was at the time unconfirmed. In retrospect, I should have shown restraint on reporting on the ski masks event before tangible confirmation was made available, and for that, I apologize.
About two weeks ago, a letter was issued by President Groarke, debunking the ski mask story. What this does not debunk is the feeling of a general lack of safety among students, which received five articles of coverage, including an editorial, reporting of the Make Trent Safe protest, and a letter of solidarity signed by 26 faculty members. The solidarity shown amongst students to fight this feeling is more than commendable, it’s inspiring. It showed that Trent students care for the vulnerable, and are willing to create a movement based on empathy for how the vulnerable feel. These feelings are also supported by appalling events such as the attack on Elizabeth Jenkins, in which racial slurs were shouted at her and a cup of urine was thrown at her.
So for those who feel that I am contributing to this lack of safety, I apologize that I have contributed to your anxiety. I gave unequal coverage because I chose not to report on the feelings of students on campus, which are the substance of the issue at hand. I elected to do this because I knew there were many both inside and outside of Arthur who wanted to cover the story. I believed that the multitude of stories regarding these feelings would serve to balance against my article outlining the flashing event against the Trent Conservatives.
My perception of balance was clearly not what others felt, and I regret any feelings of anxiety that my actions have caused. I will take this into my writing process for the future. If you feel personally affected by my article, I encourage you to get into contact with me directly via email. You can reach me at [email protected]