Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Newspaper apologizes for offensive cartoon

A picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words.

For the front page graphic Cardinal Points ran Oct. 23, a thousand words seem inadequate. No explanation or excuse will be able to take away the pain one mistake has caused our community — nor could we expect it to.

As SUNY Plattsburgh students and staff members of Cardinal Points, we take the newspaper and our positions seriously. We care deeply about the work we create and present to the public.

More than that though, we care about our community. We love Plattsburgh and SUNY Plattsburgh. To have let both down is the worst failure we could commit.

We want to make this clear: We completely renounce and regret printing the highly offensive graphic that has hurt so many.
We are reviewing every comment and suggestion offered and have formulated a Plan of Action.

Cardinal Points pledges to fully cooperate with an external review.
• SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling has arranged to examine Cardinal Points’ production procedures and analyze how such a grievous error occurred.
• Ettling enlisted former Press-Republican Editor-in-Chief Bob Grady to head this review. PSUC English Professor Jose Torres will assist, as well as an unannounced PSUC student.
• Every member of Cardinal Points promises to participate in this process. During Tuesday afternoon’s Faculty Senate meeting, Ettling mentioned that while he didn’t ask for the review group to make any recommendations, he would certainly accept them should the committee want to do so. We are wholeheartedly open to any recommendations this committee may have and intend to print the results once Ettling receives and releases them to the community.

Cardinal Points will dedicate the rest of the fall semester to examining our grave error and its consequences.
• We have dedicated much of this issue reflecting on our failure and the reactions of our community. We intend to be honest with our readers — including when we fail.
• We welcome the thoughts of our community members. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, please do so. If you, as a student, are interested in contributing a column or story, please send it to us. All this material can be sent to
• We intend to work much more closely with our adviser and faculty members before finishing our pages each week and sending them to be printed and distributed. There is still a lot for us as students to learn, and we know it is appropriate to get a professional opinion, especially to ensure such a mistake is never made again.

Cardinal Points will use the spring semester to review its own organization and procedures and will focus on social issues and justice.
• We invite any interested member of the campus community to join the newspaper and let his or her voice be heard. Cardinal Points is open to all students on campus and can be taken for class credit.
• Given the severity of the situation, Department of Journalism and Public Relations is working closely with SUNY Plattsburgh administration to formulate positive, permanent changes for current and future SUNY Plattsburgh students. We, at Cardinal Points, also intend to examine certain aspects of how we run, including the editing process.
We want to make sure as many eyes look at the content as possible to ensure such a problem is never created again.
We also will provide diversity training to any staff member of Cardinal Points each semester. We believe this will increase awareness of social issues and create a better newspaper as a result.
• We will continue to cover issues of race, gender and social class, among many others, because these topics are crucial to all communities.
We, as a collective, know that these listed steps are only the beginning. However, we hope that over time, we are able to restore faith in our publication and assist in the creation of a campus where everyone feels comfortable.
In the meantime, please continue to give us your input. At the end of the day, Cardinal Points can be representative of our community only if we represent the real community.

Editor-in-Chief Maggie McVey
Managing Editor Winta Mebrahti
News Editor Tom Marble
Associate News Editor Tim Lyman
Associate News Editor Patrick Willisch
Opinions Editor Griffin Kelly
Sports Editor Bailey Carlin
Associate Sports Editor Kevin Morley
Fuse Editor Lisa Scivolette
Associate Fuse Editor Samantha Stahl
Photo Editor Jess Huber
Associate Photo Editor Cassidy Backus
Multimedia Editor Reggianie Francois

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