Building integrity through feedback

CALLEY HAIR | Evergreen editor-in-chief

On today’s front page, The Daily Evergreen printed a story “Response mixed to WSU’s alcohol rule.” The article addressed last week’s announcement from President Elson S. Floyd, in which he stated all fraternities must choose between housing freshmen and serving alcohol starting in the fall 2014 semester.

The article explained the reasoning behind President Floyd’s decision, alongside the response from the Greek community.

The image we chose to accompany the article, however, sparked a largely negative response from that same Greek community we seek to fairly portray.

The photo depicted a lip sync show from last semester’s Homecoming Week, in which members of the WSU Greek system performed in CUB Senior Ballroom. The feedback we received called the image inappropriate, misrepresentative and purposely targeted to paint a negative picture of the Cougar Greeks.

This interpretation could not be further from the Evergreen’s original intent in publishing this photo.

Homecoming Week is an alcohol-free, university-sponsored event with a positive impact on the entire WSU campus.

Our Evergreen staff chose this image precisely because it depicts a sober event. It conveys the message that Greek affairs don’t need to rely on alcohol to be lively and exciting. We chose this image because, in a conversation that requires WSU fraternities to choose between housing freshmen and serving alcohol, we see value and relevance in portraying dry Greek events.

We’ve seen through community responses that the initial impressions of the photo do not match its content. The casual Evergreen reader sees the word “alcohol” in a headline accompanied by a photo of members of the Greek system dancing shirtless, and our original message gets lost in translation.

Because of this disconnect, I’ve chosen to remove the image from The Daily Evergreen website.

We are, as always, open to all feedback from the community. We are your paper. We are your voice. And as the editor-in-chief of your school’s publication, I want to continue this conversation.

Upon the start of the semester, I promised you we would serve as the ears of the student body, not just the voice. I have every intention of keeping that promise.

Whether or not you feel this image misrepresented the story, I’d like to hear from you. Email me at [email protected] or comment on our Facebook page with what photo you would have liked to see accompanying this article.