We address this letter to you in response to what we feel to be a very serious problem, both in terms of bias and irresponsibility.
There was a discussion on the issue of affirmative action on Nov. 14, which arose from a challenge issued forth in a letter published in your editorial section. As this challenge was made publicly, the response was issued in the same manner. However, the Wildcat neglected to publish the response letter, regardless of the fact that it was forwarded to them on three separate occasions, and more than ten days in advance of the panel discussion.
When contacted about the decision not to run the letter, the response was that it was not an opinion piece, but more of an announcement. Yet the Wildcat had no problem printing the letter which issued the challenge in the first place.
We also submitted an announcement to appear in the regular format of the campus calendar Ÿ however, the Wildcat seemed to have chosen that date, the day our announcement was to appear, to relocate campus announcements to the very end of the classifieds, without any notification to readers of the change or where they could now locate such announcements. As the discussion was also a follow-up activity to the Walkout of Oct. 12, which had approximately 800 students attend and sign petitions, we felt that this event might be of some interest to the campus. However, as a result of your irresponsibility and selective journalism, turnout was poor.
We were also very disappointed in the quality of the article ("Discussion tackles affirmative action," Nov. 15) which covered the panel discussion. There seemed to be a bias in presenting the viewpoints of the discussion, with only one side's views represented, printing only their photo, and quoting one side of the dialogue which took place. While we do not feel the issue is whose picture is in the paper, we would have appreciated equal coverage of the arguments presented and recognition of all the panel participants, as opposed to only those pictured. Additionally, the discussion was not organized by the Black Law Students Association, but was a collaborative effort of all the panelists, in the interest of informing the entire campus community of the issues.
The tone of your article seemed to suggest that you were disappointed that the event did not disintegrate into an argument. All participants had agreed previously to a civil, educational forum, rather than a screaming match, as we felt it more appropriate and respectful to the philosophy of an educational institution, the audience, and participants themselves. Apparently, the screaming match the Wildcat was hoping for is what one should do in order to make "the news."
M. Dolores Ramos
Native American Law Students
Jobs with Justice and Tucson Civil Rights Coalition
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