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2.21.2008

school chancellor responds to "war on asians"

Here is the official statement by University of Colorado Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson, regarding Max Karson's War on Asians "satire" piece published earlier this week in CU's Campus Press:
A Statement by University of Colorado Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson Regarding a Student Column in the University of Colorado Campus Press

February 20, 2008

On behalf of the University of Colorado at Boulder, I want to apologize to the members of Colorado's Asian and Asian-American communities for a satirical column written by a student columnist at the CU Campus Press – the Web-based student news outlet managed by the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The column was a poor attempt at social satire laden with offensive references, stereotypes and hateful language. It was not properly labeled as either satire or commentary, and readers were left with the impression that the author spoke for the collective staff and leadership of the Campus Press, and perhaps even the University of Colorado.

He spoke for none of the aforementioned, and while his column is unquestionably protected under the First Amendment, the sentiments he has expressed are wounding and damaging to a community we hold dear and come at a time when we are trying to celebrate diversity at CU-Boulder with our annual Diversity Summit. I want to personally apologize to the individuals who may have been wounded or offended by the column and the perspectives that it purports to represent. I have asked the dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to review this matter, to meet with the management of the Campus Press and to consider what steps are appropriate to account for what was published. In the meantime, I invite the commentary of all communities to the Campus Press Web site at www.thecampuspress.com.

While that discussion takes place, let me reiterate the support of the CU-Boulder campus, our collective campus community, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, for our Asian and Asian-American students, and for all students of color from all walks of life. Let me also reaffirm my commitment to building a campus that embraces diversity in all its forms, and that also promotes free speech, open debate and discussion of issues and ideas, and that will not trade one to achieve the other.
Great, Bud. Apology accepted (though it really isn't you that should be apologizing). Now what are you really going to do about it? Here's also a Letter from the editors addressing all the negative reaction to the piece. I doubt it's really going to appease anyone, but nice try. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming days...