Dear The Phillipian readership,
Last week The Eighth Page published a joke that is sexist and offensive. The “240th Admitted Class by the Numbers” chart opposes the standards that we try to uphold as a newspaper and a school. The fact that this graphic made it through multiple levels of editing to publication is unacceptable. We are deeply sorry.
Since the paper’s publication, The Phillipian has held several discussion forums for those wishing to address the page’s problematic content, understand how the mistake occurred, and share suggestions on how to improve and move forward. One product of this dialogue was the idea of an “Eighth Page Mission Statement,” or some kind of philosophy that can inform everything we put on the page. We are working hard as a section and as a board to figure out what exactly this should be, and we look forward to sharing the results with you soon. We hope the guidelines we lay out for ourselves direct the section into more positive and inclusive comedy.
We thank everyone who attended these forums for their passion, insight, and generosity of spirit; we also are aware, however, that there are many readers of The Phillipian who were unable to attend or may have more to say. If this is the case, please reach out to us over email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com); we hope to address all concerns personally and find ways to move forward together.
There was a lot of debate within our board about what The Eighth Page should look like this week. Some thought we should publish an entirely blank page, others an apology, others still a business-as-usual typical section. Although unable to reach a consensus, we, The Eighth Page Editors, along with the paper’s Upper Management, settled on the design you see now: a published apology on the page’s top fold, and a typical section on the bottom. We want to give due time to our failures, but we are also eager to begin the work of earning back your trust. Andover deserves a newspaper that reflects its community values, not one that undermines them.
We created The Eighth Page in an attempt to rise above the lowest-common-denominator joke. We failed at that last week. We promise to do better tomorrow.
Charlie Mayhew and Connor Devlin, Eighth Page Editors*
*Samantha Bloom held no part in the ideation of the graphic and is undeserving of any blame or anger that has been directed towards her. We would like to personally apologize for involving her in this.
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