Controversial Comic Causes Sit-In at UVA

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

September 6, 2007

A controversial cartoon printed in Tuesday's edition of the Cavalier Daily newspaper is the talk on the grounds of UVA.

As many students picked up the paper on grounds, they were shocked at what was inside.

They say they are concerned and outraged of the patterns of “racial insensitivity” that the cartoon depicts.

There was no laughing or smiling when fourth year student, Gretel Truong, first saw the cartoon in question

“This was something where you kind of just looked at it and be like, well I don't know what this is supposed to mean, it’s not funny to me,” said student, Gretel Truong.

Over 200 students showed up for a sit-in at the newspaper offices on Wednesday evening.

Many students say this isn't the first time these kinds of cartoons have been printed.

In 2006, comics ran that offended Muslims and Christians and last Friday, one depicting Thomas Jefferson and one of his slaves.

Some on grounds argue that this is just a sad case of one student abusing his first amendment rights.

“As a newspaper, it falls under freedom of the press, so there’s no real action that can be taken against the artist I guess, but I would definitely frown upon it,” said Eric Josephsen.

Adila Ibrahim said, “I understand that he has his free speech, but then again he's infringing on other people's freedoms by insulting them.”

In Thursday’s paper a formal apology from editors of the paper that reads,”We apologize to the entire university community for the poor editorial judgment exercised in running a comic that is so clearly inappropriate and hurtful."

UVA dean of African American affairs, Dr. Maurice Apprey, says he and his office plan to create more positive dialogue between all groups on campus.

“All you can do is foster integrity in the community of learning and persuade the Cavalier Daily to raise their standards the best you know how,” said Dr. Apprey.

The Cavalier Daily is an independent, student-run newspaper, not owned by the university.

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