The Harvard Crimson newspaper has been formally condemned by the university’s student government, which voted to pass a statement denouncing the publication for reaching out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to obtain an official statement for an article.
The Harvard Undergraduate Council voted 15-13-4 to approve a statement issued in support of Act on a Dream, an open borders activist group which recently held an “Abolish ICE” demonstration on campus.
The Crimson, which reported on the protest, reached out to ICE for comment to include in its coverage — an act of professional journalism which was denounced by Act on a Dream and other activist groups.
“The Undergraduate Council stands in solidarity with the concerns of Act on a Dream, undocumented students, and other marginalized individuals on campus,” the recently-passed statement reads.
“It is necessary for the Undergraduate Council to acknowledge the concerns raised by numerous groups and students on campus over the past few weeks and to recognize the validity of their expressed fear and feelings of unsafety.”
The Harvard Graduate Students Union released a similar statement in support of Act on a Dream.
The Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW stands in solidarity with @actonadream in their demand that @thecrimson change its policy of calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the process of reporting stories about undocumented students at Harvard and their activism. pic.twitter.com/rvFAsfG4Da
— Harvard Grad Students Union-UAW (@hgsuuaw) November 6, 2019
A petition issued by Act on a Dream and endorsed by other campus groups, such as Harvard College Democrats for Warren, Harvard Radcliffe RAZA, and Harvard Black Men’s Forum demands the Crimson:
1. Apologize for the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community.
2. Critically engage with and change their policies that require calling ICE for comment.
3. Declare their commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.
Harvard Crimson President Kristine E. Guillaume issued a statement of her own, defending her publication’s pursuit of the “highest standards” of journalistic integrity.
“Fundamental journalistic values obligate The Crimson to allow all subjects of a story a chance to comment,” Guillaume said. “This policy demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that the individuals and institutions we write about have an opportunity to respond to criticisms in order to ensure a fair and unbiased story.”
“We welcome feedback from our readers and from those we cover. In this case, we met with representatives of Act on a Dream to hear their concerns and explain our approach.”
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