Dear Nass Readers:
Our recent publication of “Maria” in the April 6, 2019 issue of the Nassau Weekly has sparked a good deal of controversy. We had anticipated it might. In this letter, we hope to outline the reasons why, after much consideration, we chose to publish the piece, and the ways in which we are now reflecting on that decision. Moving forward, we will continue to reevaluate our editorial and publishing practices.
Like any piece published in the Nass, “Maria” does not reflect the views of the masthead or of anyone besides the author who contributed to the editorial process. “Maria” was one person’s individual reflection and, while we may not condone the content of the piece, we do not censor personal reflections. One of our missions is to share with our community a variety of student perspectives and reflections. Another is to raise consciousness about important social issues. We hope always to adhere to these twin missions.
This piece sheds light on the widespread global phenomenon of live-in domestic workers, who are underpaid, often exploited, and far from home. While some campus community members may be familiar with such practices, others are not. This piece has evidently succeeded in raising awareness about the topic it describes and wrestles with.
Notwithstanding these reasons for publication, we deeply regret words in the Nass that offend or hurt any of our readers. Until now, our policy on personal reflections has always been to reject content that is hateful or violent toward any person or group. In light of various thoughtful comments we have received, however, we are taking this opportunity to reexamine the process by which we consider reflections for publication.
We appreciate our readers’ willingness to offer feedback, which we will continue to take seriously. Comments and criticisms we have received about this piece will, in the short-term, help shape conversations we have with our editors about preparing pieces for publication; in the longer term, we promise to reflect thoughtfully on various competing considerations as we work to improve our practices and policies.
We invite your signed responses and will publish them in the interest of robust conversation; we also welcome everyone interested in continuing this discussion to any of our meetings, which take place Mondays at 5:00 p.m. in Frist 212 and Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. in Bloomberg 044.
But whether these vital conversations unfold in the pages and meetings of the Nass or elsewhere, we hope they will unfold nonetheless.
The Senior Management Team of the 2019 Nass Masthead
Note: This letter is adapted from a personal response already written to one of our Nass readers.