What were they thinking?
That, undoubtedly, was the question that a lot of faculty and administrative members at Central Connecticut State University asked when the school’s student newspaper, The Recorder, published a controversial comic in its Sept. 21 issue.
The three-framed comic, “Polydongs,” features a triangle-shaped character who indirectly mentions urinating on a “14-year-old Latino girl” that he has tied up in a closet to his rectangle-shaped counterpart.
So . . . what was supposed to be funny about this, again?
The ill-fated comic landed the weekly newspaper – which garnered controversy before when it published a satirical column entitled, “Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It” – in hot water and rightfully so. It’s not funny. It’s not informational. It’s just a waste of a time.
The Recorder ran a disclaimer across the bottom of the strip stating that the paper “does not support the kidnapping of (and subsequent urinating on) children of any age or ethnicity.” Therefore, the decision-makers at the publication already knew the subject matter of the tasteless comic would attract a negative response. In fact, editors at the paper actually sat down and reviewed the comic before it was published. They determined it was not very offensive at all. They were wrong.
Media outlets from across the nation have addressed the controversy. About 5 percent of Central Connecticut’s 9,600 undergraduates are Hispanic, according to StateUniversity.com, but more than 100 students gathered outside the university’s administration building to protest only days after the comic was published.
Just because you have the freedom to publish a column which mocks the seriousness of rape or a comic that condones urinating on a teenager doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it.
Rest assured, The Temple News would never venture down this type of territory.
As the only student-run newspaper on campus, The Temple News strives to represent the nation’s most diverse student population (as ranked by the Princeton Review) with class and dignity.
Meanwhile, in response to the controversy, Central Connecticut State University “created a task force that recommended more training for its student journalists, purchasing libel insurance and creating a student-run alternative paper or Web site,” according to an article on the Editor and Publisher Web site.
All the while, in the midst of a burgeoning crisis, the Recorder editor Mark Rowan refuses to name the artist behind the offensive comic?
Who exactly is he protecting?
Better yet, what audience is The Recorder serving?
At this point, the answer, like the comic, is just a waste of time.