Over the past few hours—interrupting my best efforts to finish up the (amazing) last few episodes of Daredevil—I’ve received numerous emails, most expressing disappointment, concerning my decision not to publish videos we received of anti-Reclaim posters being taken down or moved. My rationale for not publishing the videos is below; and unless something changes drastically, the decision is final.
What is my rationale? A simple one: Consideration for our fellow students, both pro-Reclaim and anti-Reclaim. We are all imperfect; we all make mistakes, say things we don’t necessarily intend, and get frustrated. Moments of passion, filmed without the consent of a given student, under circumstances thrust upon them, should not be preserved for all time. This rationale protects students on both “sides” of the recent controversy.
Certainly, there is informational value in publishing the videos; but that informational value is better conveyed through text, in fact-checked stories that do not reveal student names or the direct substance of what students said to one another in the heat of the moment. We will use videos to update our reporting; we will not use videos, however, to “out” students. Indeed, the threat of being videotaped would accomplish the opposite of what the Record has been trying to accomplish all year. It would chill speech and productive dialogue.
I’m sure many of you disagree with me; that’s perfectly fine. A part of me disagrees with me! Maybe I’m wrong. Regardless, I encourage all of you to enjoy your weekends, perhaps watching Daredevil, and to engage with one another in an empathetic way—from mindsets geared towards empathy rather than instant opposition. We can all learn a lot from one another.
And none of us has all the answers. At least, I definitely don’t.
Michael Shammas ’16