Gauntlet unaccountable

The SU View and its corresponding headline are products of the Students’ Union. It is printed without editorial revision and does not reflect the views of the Gauntlet Publications Society.

As the Vice-President Op-erations and Finance for the Students’ Union I feel the nude picture published in the Gauntlet two weeks ago was not in the best interests of students or in the best interest of the paper. While there is “freedom of the press” as the Gauntlet suggests, that does not imply that there are no boundaries. The Gauntlet, while reporting news to university students, is also a reflection of the students who go to school here.

Instead of issuing an apology, the Gauntlet stated that they were simply reporting accurately on the event that was held. This is false. Sexual Awareness Week was not strippers, nor was it a sex show. It was an event held in the Hall, behind partitions, and it was only open to those over the age of 18. Tables and vendors presented information and items that ranged for STDs and porn addiction, to extreme lifestyle products and clothing. The fashion show that was held daily was 75 per cent tame (plain clothing) and 25 per cent demonstrating extreme lifestyles attire.

While hundreds of pictures were taken at the event, only one revealed the female body to the point that nothing was left to the imagination. Furthermore, the picture was taken with a zoom lens in order to capture detail that no one in the audience would have seen. Choosing to publish that specific picture was a calculated decision by the editors and was not representative of the event at all.

The Students’ Union is not trying to take a “holier than thou” position on this controversy. We accept full responsibility for putting on the event and we stand by it. We take responsibility for the mistake of initially letting the models out of Mac Hall to wander around campus. We also take responsibility for allowing Gauntlet cameras into the event. We apologize to all those students who may have been offended.

However, we do believe that the Gauntlet should own up to its own errors in judgment. They printed a full frontal nude picture of a female student participating in an adult fashion show, without asking for her permission, and with no thought to the consequences. The effect has been that the student has been marginalized to the point that she won’t come to school anymore. The Gauntlet may be legally able to get away with that, but not morally.

I apologize to the entire campus community and university administration who were offended. I apologize to all students who expect that the paper will report university news in an objective and sensible way instead of using the paper to put the campus in the spotlight for publishing what many consider to be smut. Lastly, I would like to apologize to the student who felt marginalized.

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