Sensationalist editorial unfairly demeans, shames Phigs fraternity

A recent incident involving an intoxicated female student on campus and her resulting medical treatment caught the attention of the local online news source the Genesee Sun. Rather than providing an objective and informative overview of the events, however, the website took the unprofessional approach of condemning both the fraternity and individuals that the editors deemed culpable—despite the fact that the resulting legal case is far from over. The behavior of this fraternity and the students involved is far from unusual on the Geneseo campus. A significant percentage of the campus is involved with Greek life or athletics, and many of those students elect to throw date parties. Phi Sigma Xi is neither alone nor extreme in its behavior, and yet is being stigmatized far beyond its due by this publication.

There are frequent incidents involving drugs and alcohol on college campuses that should probably receive medical attention but do not. It is counterproductive to the welfare of the campus to stigmatize those involved in a circumstance where a girl actually did receive the proper medical treatment. Student responses to said articles have already indicated that the fraternity is certainly not seen as predatory or particularly dangerous.

Furthermore, including details about the recent death of a fraternity brother to bolster the writer’s argument is entirely inappropriate and incredibly disrespectful. To attempt to make antagonists out of a group of young men who were forced to accept the death of someone close to them––not to mention including inappropriate details regarding the nature of his death––is beyond reprehensible. Regardless of the outcome of events and how the college decides to respond to the incident, the Genesee Sun should not be the body of judgment that is looked to for any sort of fair or objective verdict. There are no positive lessons encompassed in such media-hype drivel.

Sensationalist journalism is something that I expect to find in the checkout line of my local grocery store, not from a news source that claims to be “lighting the region” of Geneseo and beyond. From the mug shot of one of the students involved splashed above an article providing a less-than-objective overview of the events, to the editorial titled “Deadly Frat Has No Place in Geneseo,” it is quite apparent that the staff of the Genesee Sun is far more concerned with saying whatever is necessary to attract a hype journalism readership than providing quality reporting. The Geneseo community should withdraw its support from a news source that exploits undergraduate students to simply make a profit.

Geneseo prides itself on being a pinnacle of higher education that furthers the futures of its students. The individuals profiled on the website, however, will undoubtedly see this “reporting” having a bearing on both their lives on campus and their future career prospects.

If Geneseo––as both a college and a community––truly aims to abide by the standards it claims, then such reporting should be identified for what it is: shortsighted and cheap.

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