University Student Government Can't Take A Joke; Pulls Paper's Funding After 'Offensive' April Fool's Issue

from the just because you're not laughing doesn't mean it isn't funny dept

April 1st is generally acknowledged to be the shittiest day on the internet. Suddenly, everyone who isn’t The Onion thinks they are, and trusted sources of information become sketchy entities in need of copious amounts of side eye.

That’s the worst of it. Then there are others that celebrate the most worthless of quasi-holidays by going completely overboard. The Record, Buffalo State College’s newspaper, turned itself into the The Wreckard on April 1st, publishing several satirical stories.



And, in doing so, found out its student government not only couldn’t take a joke (like “President Conway-Turner authorizes drone strike on top UB leaders, killing 12”), but was also capable of being offended on behalf of everyone in the community.

Some on campus weren’t wild about The Wreckard, including student government president Emily Leminger. She emailed the newspaper staff and told them their April 1 edition was “a very serious matter.”

She wrote:

It has come to our attention from many students and faculty members that some of the topics discussed in the ‘Wreckard’ satire addition [sic] were offensive to members of Buffalo State and the surrounding community.”

Please note that your budget has been frozen, all publications of ‘The Wreckard’ must be removed from campus tomorrow by 5PM and relocated to your office.

The offended students and community members failed to materialize in defense of Lemminger’s decision. But Record adviser and journalism professor Annemarie Franczyk showed up to criticize the student government’s demands.

“The April Fools edition of The Record clearly was satire from the obviously altered name and typeface to the topics,” Franczyk said, “which no one should believe to be true. The edition was witty, smart and sharply written and was meant for nothing more but the entertainment of the student body.”

Realizing the decision to play on the Unspoken (and Unbidden) Feelings of the Unspecified Masses was gaining it zero traction anywhere but in the student government’s collective imagination, it swiftly reversed its decision. This announcement followed shortly after its budget-yanking statement. Fortunately, the student government only controls the purse strings, rather than writes the articles.

Hello Community & The Record, After much consideration; we have reconsidered our actions about freezing your newspaper budget. Our initial actions were made based on the concerns we received from several students. As United Students Government, students come first. The removal of the “April Fools” edition of the paper was called in order to protect our students from feeling uncomfortable. However, The Record you’re our students as well! & the freedom of speech and press proves that us limiting your distribution, is not right. After considering both sides of concerns, we will continue on reaching out to The Record for a meeting where a medium can be reached. We appreciate all of the efforts from alumni, media, and students pertaining the issue. Communication is the most important tool of all, and we would like for The Record to be a wonderful platform for communication to our community, as well as making sure students feel comfortable and protected by USG. Once again, we look forward to talking to The Record at their earliest convenience. Thank you to all. -USG Team

As an ode to free speech, it’s anything but. It possibly works better as a paean to the flaws in our higher education system — from its inexplicable desire to protect young adults from any sort of unpleasantness to the unavoidable feeling that the university is cranking out a generation of graduates who can’t communicate fluently in their native language, much less be convinced that punctuation isn’t the “salt” of written communication: something to be scattered liberally and randomly across bland and badly-composed prose in hopes of “taking it to the next level.”

Lessons were learned… and quickly. But will they stick? The announcement suggests the student government prizes “comfort” and “protection” over free speech. This isn’t exactly comforting, considering it holds the financial means to sacrifice the latter for the former.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: buffalo state college

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “University Student Government Can't Take A Joke; Pulls Paper's Funding After 'Offensive' April Fool's Issue”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
31 Comments
Lord Binkysays:

for life, *mumble*, and the pursuit of *mumble* er.. fuzzy slippers

The removal of the “April Fools” edition of the paper was called in order to protect our students from feeling uncomfortable.”

Does that mean their next major effort will be to swap out all the campus furnishings for well padded ergonomically designs, enforce a very strict and uniform dress code, ban all negative language and controversial subject matter, to protect the students from feeling uncomfortable?

Geno0wlsays:

Re: Snowflake

Where do people keep getting this widespread narrative from?
I graduated in 2009 and never saw anything at all about “protecting students from uncomfortable ideas”. Not in the slightest.
We have a few spotty stories either from a few over reactionary Admins, or idiot twitter people, and suddenly that is representative of EVERY college campus and EVERY college classroom?
That is simply a false and ridiculous narrative by people who read news articles and are not actually on a college campus.

Berenerdsays:

The thing about Student sponsored things....

I was a member of the Student Government in the University of Maine at Machias. The policy wrote that as long as you had a membership of X students you could be a group. You gave the SG your request for funds and it gets approved and such. If you vary from the budget it would be noted the next time you ask for money. There was no pulling funds for offending someone. If there were, the Young Republicans would have never survived their trial period.
On the School side, each group needed a Faculty Adviser that was ultimately responsible for what the group did. When it came to things like publications and student government itself, they would often step in to give advice on the right course of action. I find it hard to believe that neither group had an adviser.
I am willing to bet that someone in the faculty got upset and talked to the student government and pushed THAT way.

OldMugwumpsays:

The outrage should be about the illiteracy

Forget the April Fools jokes.

We need some outrage about the obvious illiteracy of these student “leaders”.

How did these people even graduate from high school, let alone get admitted to college, let alone (ya, I know I said that already) get elected to student government?

I see their Facebook post has corrected “addition” to “edition” (!), but as of this writing there is still:

* “The removal … was called in order to” A removal “was called”? What?

* “The Record you’re our students as well! & the…” Where exactly did that sentence end? And is “The Record” singular or plural here?

* “proves that us limiting your distribution, is not right.” “us”? And where did that comma come from?

* “both sides of concerns” “of concerns”?

* “we will continue on reaching out” “on reaching out”??

* “meeting where a medium can be reached” What kind of medium would that be? The sort who talks to the dead?

* “students pertaining the issue” Is there a missing word here?

* “Communication is the most important tool of all”

Well, it’s pretty damn important, I’ll agree.

Anybody can make a typo or post something quickly without careful review – but this is far beyond that. Virtually every single line has a blatant grammatical or usage error.

Whoever wrote this (and presumably whoever approved it) is functionally illiterate.

Even our trolls here on TechDirt have a better command of English than these morons.

Is this typical of our college elite?

Anonymoussays:

Re: The outrage should be about the illiteracy

The removal … was called in order to

And why shouldn’t the removal be called? It had its own phone number, didn’t it? And it was a Wednesday night, so it was going to be home studying, right? And it’s not like they called collect, was it?

Oh, wait, they did, didn’t they…

Nevermind!

Anonymoussays:

Re: The outrage should be about the illiteracy

“The Record” is actually the name of the paper so the statement “you’re our students as well” would be in reference to the students that publish the paper. Still it would be more accurate to say something like this:

“…the students at The Record are our constituency as well” since the mandate of the student government is not to educate other students.

Otherwise you are dead on. Still I can answer your question about how they graduated high school. Simple regurgitation of information fed to them while proving themselves to be good little conformers. “Come and see the violence inherent to the system!”

Anonymoussays:

If I ran The Record, know what I'd do?

I’d take that feeble and semi-literate pseudo-apology to one of the professors in the English faculty and ask them to mark it as if it had been a piece of work handed in, then publish the result along with the grade it would have received and a list of errors/corrections on the front page of the next edition.

Or even on the front page of the next ‘addition’.

Just Another Anonymous Trollsays:

in order to protect our students from feeling uncomfortable.
And THAT is the problem. If you’re offended, write a letter to the editor (and get the response “it’s April fools day you moron”) or just don’t read it. Nowhere in our Constitution is it said that the right to not be offended will not be infringed. Deal with it.

Spaceman Spiffsays:

Serve in government?

I think this is definitive proof that anyone who wants to server, or does serve, in government (at whatever level) is not to be trusted to have:

1. A sense of humor.
2. Any sense of ethics or propriety.
3. The ability to properly ensure reasonable control of the finances we have entrusted to their ministrations.

Donnictonsays:

Tim calling April Fool’s Day “the most worthless of quasi-holidays” in a glorious oldmanyellsatcloud.jpg moment, complaining about the having to scrutinize information to a negligibly more frequent extent for a predictable, traditional once-a-year event, and projecting this as a broad popular opinion using nebulous weasel word terms like “generally acknowledged to be”, while in the same breath complaining about someone else not appreciating humor.

Tim I love you but please man… pls mans.

Anonymoussays:

There are so many things wrong here...

Our initial actions were made based on the concerns we received from several students.

Just like with many other facets of government today, the whinings of a few are interfering with the rights of the many.

The removal of the “April Fools” edition of the paper was called in order to protect our students from feeling uncomfortable.

This is one thing wrong with society today. Somehow, liberals think they have a right not to be offended.

from its inexplicable desire to protect young adults from any sort of unpleasantness

Lastly, it isn’t about protection, it is about indoctrination.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it