October 19, 2020

CUB drops the ball with Tucker Max

 Tucker Max (right) may be coming to the College in January, depending on whether students vote for him to attend and give a lecture.  (Photo courtesy of Tucker Max)
Tucker Max (right) may be coming to the College in January, depending on whether students vote for him to attend and give a lecture. (Photo courtesy of Tucker Max)

We’re a student newspaper. We love controversy. We love protests with big signs that we can take pictures of and impassioned people who give us long and angry quotes for stories. And we especially love jackasses — people who will run their mouths and say the most outrageous things possible in order to shock. To all the asses of the world, you make for some fun journalism.

For the above reasons, we couldn’t want Tucker Max to come to the College more.

But beyond our interests as journalists, our personal opinions vary quite a bit, much like everyone else at the college.

Some of us — both male and female — think Max is hilarious, and can’t wait to see him. Those of us think all the arguing is stupid and a waste of time. Either way, someone is going to end up unhappy.

Others think it’s ridiculous that student money is funding someone so controversial and offensive to so many students.

Yet others of us are too irritated by the fact that uninformed people are throwing around phrases like “censorship” and “free speech” to even have an opinion on Max himself.

Calling rescinding the bid for Max censorship demeans actual censorship, like burning books or banning Web sites. Rescinding the bid would in no way suppress Max’s right to speak. He can come to the College and speak whenever he wants to — he would just be speaking on his own time and dollar, instead of ours. It’s a distinction that cannot be ignored.

No one is suggesting that Max be banned from campus, the anti-Max groups are simply encouraging CUB to bid for someone else.

If Max does not come, no student is prevented from buying his book, seeing his movie, or attending a lecture at another school.

Please, take a media law class before using words like censorship. You might think you sound incendiary, but we think you sound like an idiot.

One thing many of us agree on though, is that the College Union Board is in over its head.

Why CUB decided to suggest such a polarizing figure is a mystery to us. But, now that it has, we think CUB could have handled itself slightly better.

First of all, the original survey was ambiguous and confusing. If you don’t remember or didn’t vote, it said “ex. Tucker Max.” This is an example, as in not justification for a final decision.

Secondly, CUB sent out a press release dealing with the controversy before even bidding for Max, or letting him know he was being considered. They also planned a movie screening and panel discussion a bit prematurely.

They sensationalized the issue before anyone even knew what was going on, leading people to believe that Max was definitely coming when they had not even requested the bid yet. At this point, Max could voluntarily decline the bid, as CUB has postponed it again and has no reason to believe that Max is coming at all.

Some of the controversy over this issue might have been avoided if CUB had waited until Max was confirmed to publicize the event.

But we applaud CUB’s attempt to right its mistake with the second poll, and hope that things can go smoothly for the remainder of this controversial situation.

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