The editors of Boston University's Independent Paper, The Daily Free Press, better known as the "Freep," posted an apology on their website last night for publishing a number of bizarre, unfunny articles in their April Fools' issue that made light of the recent sexual assaults on campus. "Our aim was to publish satirical material about Boston University as a whole, and we did not intend to perpetuate harmful stereotypes or inappropriately make light of serious issues," they wrote. "...While we do not support any of the stereotypes that we wrongly spread in the issue, we know that by publishing the material we inadvertently proliferated them. We know that even though the stories were meant to be jokes, simply writing them perpetuated rape culture."
The apology seems heartfelt and sincere, but it wasn't enough for the paper's Board of Directors, which asked Chelsea Diana, the paper's editor-in-chief, to resign. She accepted. You can read the Board's letter to its readers regarding the issue here.
It's worth nothing that although the Freep is independent from the University — something many commenters pointed out after our piece on the issue yesterday — they accepted a $78k "advance on future advertising" from BU last year. That doesn't mean the University needs to apologize or claim responsibility for the Freep's poor editorial decision, but it does strengthen the argument that the Freep, technically "unaffiliated" as it may be, stands for the voices of at least some of BU's students. With that in mind, it seems Diana's resignation was a responsible, neccesary decision, even if she didn't mean any harm.