On behalf of The Maneater, I would like to offer a full apology to Dr. Stephanie Shonekan, to all students who are taking or have taken her Hip Hop: Global Music and Culture class, and to anyone who took issue or offense with the comments published in Abigail Fisher's Aug. 21 column. It was not the intention of the writer nor any of the publication's editors to belittle or demean Dr. Shonekan or her class, but we realize that the column may have done just that.
No class at MU is "not worth showing up to"; no subject studied at this university is worthless or useless. What we published was particularly harmful because, as Dr. Shonekan writes, it seemed to question whether hip hop music and culture, as well as a "multicultural perspective," is worth studying in an academic manner — whether such a class has serious value.
Especially because Ms. Fisher’s comments had no basis in fact, it was irresponsible to publish them. Regardless of whether or not the comments were directed specifically at Dr. Shonekan’s class, it was irresponsible to publish them.
The Maneater is a “learning paper.” It is supposed to provide MU students with the opportunity to learn and grow as writers, as journalists, as members of society and as human beings. This in no way means that we can print whatever we want, causing whatever harm we’d like, but it means that we have the obligation to use each mistake we make, each offense we cause, as a lesson to engage with, analyze, discuss and ultimately change from.
The comments we printed in Ms. Fisher’s column have prompted us to confront not only how we erred, but how we should adjust our practices and principles in the future. I promise that Maneater humor columns will be held to a higher standard, subjected to a more rigorous editing process to ensure they entertain without crossing lines or causing harm. We will use this as an opportunity to learn and grow, in hopes of always improving as individuals and as a publication.
— Scott MacDonald, Forum Editor;
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