Friday, February 1, 2008

Does the Hatchet go too far into the personal lives of the student body?

Here at GWU, us students are extremely fond of UPD and SJS. Whether it is watching a fellow classmate be e-merged, or being a witness of a fight outside of Thurston, it is very rare to come across a student who is not well aware of the consequences for these actions. And for those rare cases, we have the Hatchet to clue them in. But the question is, where we draw the line? Where do we draw the line between raising awareness, and invasion of privacy. In the January 22 issue, the Hatchet featured a GWU sophomore who had recently been involved in a fight. The fight took place outside of Thurston, and being that I currently live there, I have heard all the rumors and stories. When this article was published, I was in total shock. I don't understand how a newspaper, which every student reads, is allowed to pass unconfirmed information as true-without permission. Does a student currently dealing with SJS have any sort of privacy? I spoke to Ryan after the article had been published, and he was humiliated. Yes he did a terrible thing to another student, and he should face severe consequences, however, why should his issues with the school have to be exploited to the entire university? Not every student here has a clean record, in fact the SJS office says that more than 30% of the freshman class gets e-merged each year, but don't second chances exist? Even so, why this case? Because he is your stereotypical GWU rich kid? This issue is currently being dealt with at SJS, it is not completely closed, so why should this be up for public knowledge? It is private information. I strongly feel that anything which interferes with SJS should be looked over before being printed. This article was solely based on rumors passed on from student to student. Private information should remain private.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story was based on court and police records and witness interviews there are no rumors.

The suspect was not named when the assault initially happened because the school does not report names in the crime log and it was not serious enough to have someone from the Hatchet go to the police or courts to get the public records that did have the names. Now that the suspect has committed another alleged crime to allegedly cover the assualt up it is news.

No SJS records were used in the report it was all court and police records which are generally open for review in a free society. At many state schools the entire crime log each week has names and the newspaper publishes them. Since GW is private and feels they do not need to publish names the crime log does not have them.