Cover story controversy: The editor responds

By Matthew Stone

When readers picked up copies of The Mac Weekly on Oct. 19, they may have noticed a flyer stuffed into the paper’s fold that professed support for the existence of a “safe space” for students of color in the form of the history class “Advanced Studies: Historians and Critical Race Theory” taught by Professor Peter Rachleff.The flyer, from a group of students calling themselves Students Protecting and Conserving Equality, or SPACE, was folded into the paper without the consent of the staff of The Mac Weekly, which constituted an illegal act. Readers may have assumed that the flyers’ message was connected to the staff of The Mac Weekly. While Mac Weekly staff members do not necessarily disagree with the message, it was not a product of the newspaper.

The flyer was produced in advance of the publication of the Oct. 19 front-page article “History class’ admission questioned on racial grounds.” Many have questioned the newspaper’s decision to report and publish the article. I can assure you: the decision to publish that article was not a decision that Mac Weekly staff members took lightly.

The story originated from a complaint made by a white student who claimed that a professor would not allow her to enroll in a history class because she was white. Students enrolled in the class and the class’ professor denied the student’s race was the reason for denying her admittance to the course. They also told The Mac Weekly they considered the course a “safe space” for students of color.

Before reporting the story, The Mac Weekly considered very carefully what some said would be the negative consequences of reporting on Rachleff’s course. Mac Weekly staff members, however, determined there was a story that could not be ignored. I stand by the decision to publish the article.

Matthew Stone ’08 is the Editor in Chief of The Mac Weekly.