Brock Press Offends, BUSU Interferes

I must have missed these issues of the paper.

Apparently a humour piece suggesting alternative items to hand out at Halloween instead of candy suggested stool samples and the Qur’an in the same breath.

Whoops. The paper probably should have seen the trouble a mile away. Anyway, the editor apologized the next week.

And then the Student’s Union, BUSU, apologized too. Apparently BUSU’s President had a chat with the editor to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The trouble here is that the Brock Press is supposed to be independent of BUSU.

“The Brock University Students’ Union acknowledges that the Brock Press is an editorially autonomous division of BUSU, however as the publisher of the Brock Press, BUSU feels that it has a responsibility to the students and the community to rectify any harm done through this article.”

I don’t think BUSU had any responsibility to intervene, even informally, in this mess. Apologizing for the content of the Brock Press implies control of the content, which there should not be.

This isn’t about religious tolerance or freedom of the press. I’m not defending or condemning the paper’s initial decision to print the tasteless joke or its subsequent apology. Those issues are between the Brock Press and its readers.

This is about BUSU’s interference in the operation of the only media outlet that pays attention to BUSU. The St Catharines Standard isn’t going print critical stories about BUSU; that job belongs to the Brock Press.


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