UVa paper apologizes for satirical April Fool's articles
University of Virginia’s student newspaper has apologized after receiving criticism from students and organizations for publishing two satirical articles on April Fool's Day.
As part of their April Fool's edition, The Cavalier Daily published satirical articles that made racial references as a means of addressing other important issues.
“ABC officers tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels: University students decry Trail of Schmears” mimicked the arrest of Martese Johnson by Alcoholic Beverage Control just weeks ago with a story about a Native American arrest for carrying a paper bag of bagels that resembled “an alcoholic bulge.”
“Third year College student Strong Buffalo organized a powwow with Dances with Wolves and the other two Native American students at the University—first-year Rabbit in the Grass and fourth-year Insect Humming,” the satirical article said.
In a separate story, “Everybody move to the back of the bus,” Zeta Psi hosts a Rosa Parks-themed party, referring to a song on Outkasts 1998 album Aquemini.
“My big and I are going as Rosa and the guy who asked her to move—what was his name again? Whatever. . . She’s going to dress as an old lady and stuff; it’s going to be literally hilarious,” the article reads.
The Black Student Alliance demanded The Cavalier Daily write a public apology “acknowledging the harm and backwardness of these articles.”
“This is a clear indication that this is #NotJustUVa, not just The Cavalier Daily, but this is the harsh reality of the experiences students of color have in spaces that were not built for them,” the student group said in a statement on their Facebook page.
"Their attempt at satire failed miserably and was horribly offensive,” Arrianne Talma, a fourth-year student at UVA told Campus Reform. “Typically satire should attack structures of power, not work to further marginalize."
Other students have expressed their disapproval on Twitter.
— Lauren M (@dreamwdeadline) April 1, 2015
In an editorial, the Managing Board for the school’s paper apologized after the paper removed the offending articles from its website.
“The stated mission of The Cavalier Daily is to provide the University community with new, relevant and insightful information that inspires critical conversation and even action on Grounds,” the editorial said. “Today’s April Fool's edition was meant to further this mission in a humorous and satirical manner. Unfortunately, we fell short of this goal today.”
Another satirical article, “First all-female Managing Board proves disastrous,” a piece which claimed that women do not belong in journalism, remained online.
UVA received a Green speech code rating from The Foundation for Educational Rights in Education (FIRE), indicating policies that nominally protect free speech. However, hours after publishing, the paper removed both articles from their online edition.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Glori_Foster