The real issue behind the IC View controversy hasn’t been addressed?
By Josh Elmer
Just to recap, the last issue of IC View contained an article by recent alumna and former Buzzsaw editor Emily McNeill. Her article was a personal account of settler violence in the West Bank, and appeared in the “Final Word” section of the magazine. Apologies from President Rochon and editor of IC View, Maura Stephens appeared on the magazine’s Web site shortly after the publication’s release. In his apology, Rochon explains that the article “clearly represents only one view of the situation in that region,” and failed to report in a “fully balanced and unbiased manner.”
After reading McNeill’s article and the apologies of both Rochon and Stephens, many found the apologies unnecessary and posted negative and accusatory comments about them on the Web site. On campus, 40 faculty members signed a petition released by the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, asking President Rochon to explain how he plans to keep dialogue open on campus if he’s apologizing for it.
Several seemingly obvious questions seem to spring forward which still have not been asked. If IC View is there to provide a “candid, accurate, thoughtful, and lively view of College events and people and to stimulate discussion of issues of interest to the College community and the broader readership,” then why is the administration apologizing for the discussion that people are having?
More importantly, why isn’t the college community having a campus-wide discussion about the original issue that the article raises–the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
The other problem arising from this article is Rochon’s response
to the problem: To “strengthen our processes around the review of content for IC View [including] a stronger internal editorial review
policy as well as creating an editorial board that will review all relevant content of the magazine.” Does IC View intend to edit out any of the topics that will promote discussions with more than one side?
Emily’s article was about one view of the situation, however to
understand an issue we need to see all sides. The article never claimed to be a comprehensive and unbiased examination of the conflict. It is a call to challenge the “culture of violence that shapes the perspectives and experiences of everyone there.”
If Ithaca College is apologizing for Emily’s desire to end the violence in the region, we need an environment to open a dialogue without fear of the controversy being silenced.