In last week’s edition of the Missourian, there were two articles targeting Greek life: a news article titled, “Fraternity suspended for hazing allegation” and an opinion piece titled, “University hazy on Greek allegations.” These were the first two articles about Greek life that the Missourian has covered since the Nov. 3 article, “Your Bearcat wants peace for media, Greeks.”
Although last week’s news article, “Fraternity suspended for hazing allegation” doesn’t portray Greek life in a positive light, I understand why it needed to be reported, as hazing is illegal and a serious allegation. My problem lies with the opinion piece “University hazy on Greek allegations.” This piece is derogatory in nature, and it is obvious that the writer(s) have no experience reporting on investigations. Why would the Office of Student Involvement purposely hurt the reputation of any of the fraternities that are suspended before they know the results of the investigation and know if the allegations have merit? They wouldn’t, and they won’t, for obvious reasons. The investigations are ongoing, i.e. no one knows what actually happened. To speculate and comment on these investigations while they’re happening would not be helpful for anyone; any information given could not be proven as true or false, so the reporter would be publishing a story with facts that couldn’t be verified. If the story was published and the allegations proved to be false, then the Missourian would be needlessly damaging an entire organization’s reputation.
The allegation that Northwest suppresses reports of hazing, rape and public indecency is inaccurate. In fact, they don’t suppress anything. Instead, they wait until accurate information is known before they inform the public. No one is “camouflaging Greek life discrepancies.” They’re taking necessary precautions to ensure the accuracy of their information, an ethical journalism practice.
The Nov. 3 article, “Your bearcat wants peace for media, Greeks” states, “If Greek Life and the Northwest Media do not start playing nice with each other, then they will only continue this disservice to their members.” In the past school year, multiple positive stories could have been written about Greek life: Phi Mu’s Mind Body Soul Campaign, Sig Ep raising money for Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City, Tri Sigma’s Karen Hawkins week, Greek participation in St. Jude’s Up Til Dawn, the all Greek GPA being higher than all undergraduate GPA and other numerous stories. Instead, Northwest Student Media chooses to only report on the negatives. All we’re asking for is fair, accurate and unbiased journalism. Do you want to be a newspaper that only reports on the negative aspects of things, or do you want to be a newspaper that accurately depicts the campus climate? I know which one I’d rather read.