Discourse / Greek Life / Letters / January 29, 2009

Letter to the Editor: TKE responds to recent coverage

Until further notice, Tau Kappa Epsilon will no longer be commenting on frivolous and partially fictitious TKS articles related to the organization, due to the gross journalistic misconduct that the newspaper has displayed over the course of the last several years, and particularly in its previous issue. These infractions include, but are not limited to, outrageously misleading headlines with no factual basis, manipulation of quotes and their context, and misrepresentation of the facts involved in the cases on which the TKS reports. Specifically, Tau Kappa Epsilon takes issue with last week’s headline, which wrongly implies that TKE, meaning the organization officially and not individual members, admitted to hazing. In reality, individual members of TKE have confirmed the occurrence of certain unfortunate incidents which TKS labeled as misconduct and then inferred was legally definable as hazing. This is not just one accidental mistake. TKS has printed similarly inaccurate and unprofessional headlines in the past, promising after each occasion to exercise better journalistic judgment.

However, the slew of serious errors in the previous edition of the TKS proves otherwise. In addition to misrepresenting the story with an inaccurate headline, TKS demonstrated complete disregard for the accuracy of the story. TKS failed to conduct any investigation whatsoever prior to publishing the article, interviewing only two members of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Quotes selectively yielded from these interviews were used in a manner to misrepresent the beliefs and actions of the organization. Furthermore, the strongest responses to many of the allegations in last week’s article were omitted. Lastly, when seeking responses or replies from TKE, the TKS has does so in hasty, last-minute, manner which has inhibited the organization from correctly and properly representing itself, and has in turn hurt TKS’s credibility with Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Unfortunately, we therefore cannot any longer trust TKS to be the moderator of this discussion. We as an organization refuse to stand for dishonesty, gross negligence, and intellectual laziness, especially in matters of great sensitivity. We sincerely wish TKS the best in curbing its journalistic inefficiencies, and dearly hope the newspaper will come to regret the smear on journalistic integrity that its actions have left on this college. If individual students, faculty, staff, or anyone else wishes to further discuss issues related to the mentioned allegations, or any other matter or concerns, please contact the chapter president, Dan Pers , or at 815-793-2144.

Dan Pers

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