CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — An attempt by the University of Virginia independent student newspaper — The Cavalier Daily — to “start a conversation and provide satirical commentary” on issues impacting campus backfired, according to a post on the newspaper’s website.
The managing board of The Cavalier Daily would like to issue a sincere apology for the publication of two pieces — “ABC officers tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels” and “Zeta Psi hosts ‘Rosa Parks’ party” — in our April Fools edition which was released this morning. Both articles have been removed from our website, and this apology will run in our next print edition. We are currently in the process of personally reaching out to affected communities to issue apologies.
The April Fools edition is meant to start a conversation and provide satirical commentary on important issues. The April Fools edition is not meant to come at the expense of our peers. We neglected to foresee that these pieces would come across as the latter, and for that, we regret their publication.
One article seemed to reference the St. Patrick’s Day arrest of an African-American student outside a bar. Virginia State Police are currently investigating the arrest of Martese Johnson. The arrest itself has prompted several campus-wide protests and town hall meetings.
We understand that the arrest of our classmate Martese Johnson by Alcoholic Beverage Control officers was a highly traumatic incident both for the community and for Martese himself. In the days that followed, as we at the paper sought to comprehend what happened and provide the community with constructive reporting, we have felt upset, angry and confused alongside the student body. We are embarrassed that our empathy for these immensely serious issues was undermined by this piece. We had no intentions of victimizing another underrepresented community in the process.
We also apologize for the article satirizing themed fraternity parties. Our intention was not to perpetuate stereotypes, but to highlight the offensive nature of these themed parties in the past. Again, our readers were hurt by this piece, and that makes its publication inexcusable.
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. Today’s April Fools edition was meant to further this mission in a humorous and satirical manner. Unfortunately, we fell short of this goal today.
We have been and remain dedicated to providing unbiased coverage of racial issues on Grounds. We hope to regain our readers’ trust through that continued coverage. We will, as always, work tirelessly to provide you with all student perspectives — especially those who feel underrepresented.
We deeply apologize to anyone who felt hurt, marginalized or that their experiences were trivialized by these pieces.
The Cavalier Daily Managing Board