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LETTERS: The Signal unfairly portrayed Tracey

Having attended the Campus Police forum on March 5, I was astonished at the way in which the event was covered in the article titled, “Police aim to be ‘community oriented.'” The article confirms that approximately two dozen students and other members of the community were present at the forum. It also contends that “several College students questioned Campus Police Chief John Collins.”

As one of those students who questioned Collins, I find it appalling that Mike Tracey was the only student who was specifically named in the article. I was the student who inquired about Miranda rights, a question which was included in the article, yet my name was never asked, nor was I named in the article. The other students with whom I attended the forum also posed questions, yet they, too, were never identified by name in the article.

Also described was banter that transpired between Tracey and Collins, the details of which comprised about a third of the article. I found that the inclusion of the bickering between Tracey and Collins detracted from the important themes of the article: the aim of the Campus Police to establish a relationship with the community.

Personally, I feel this was a tactic of The Signal to unfairly portray Tracey as a rebellious rabble-rouser. Collins deliberately refused to answer any of Tracey’s questions, saying they had already been covered before he arrived, and advised him that he should have “been here for the whole discussion” if he was really that concerned. Collins should note, however, that Tracey was upholding his responsibilities as a student, and was thus in class for the first half of the forum.

Using this article as evidence, it is no wonder to me that the movement in defense of Tracey has suffered such widespread opposition. Had I not been present for the forum, I would have, under the influence of this article, taken an opposing stance toward Tracey and the incident which transpired on Feb. 18. I expected neutrality from the school newspaper.

There is clearly a strong element of bias in the article, a disconcerting fact seeing as the primary goal of journalism is to report the news and the facts with the least opinion and bias as possible. As a journalism major, I am grossly disappointed to have to read articles such as that, which take an obvious position of bias on this matter.

Sarah Burdick

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