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Sep 22 2016
by Diana Pope

Student Newspaper Apologizes For Printing An Insensitive Article

By Diana Pope - Sep 22 2016

Erin Jenson, a student at Swarthmore College, recently published an article telling low income students that they should be grateful to students who pay full tuition without scholarships or aid from the institution. According to the College Fix, Swarthmore's student newspaper, "The Daily Gazette," recently apologized for publicizing this controversial article.

This column not only angered students at Swarthmore College, but it also sparked controversy among students at surrounding institutions like Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania. Students are upset because certain parts of the article used abrasive statements toward students with financial aid.

Jenson used sharp language throughout the article to dispute the college's claim that admissions are not made without considering students' financial needs. She also used accusatory language towards low income students and stated that "demonizing wealthy students is not productive" and asserted that they are paying for "their hyper-liberal classmates who resent the upper class at its core." 

The Daily Gazette apologized for this article in an editorial that was headlined "We Fucked Up." The editors of this newspaper have called this article a "failure" of the editorial process.

After publication, we realized that these parts should have been taken out, so we apologized to our readers who had very justifiably been disappointed that we would publish those words under our banner. Also note that the article in question is still available on our website.

Swarthmore College is currently ranked #4 among national liberal arts colleges in the nation, and is known for its need-blind admissions program. The college costs $50,000 a year to attend, and students from higher income families help subsidize tuition for students from lower income families.

Jenson, despite facing waves of criticism, has not publicly apologized for the derisive comments in her article. She still believes that the admissions office should have an incentive to admit students who come from a wealthier background. She wrote the article because she thinks that the admissions process "favors privilege yet encourages hatred of the rich." 

Although the article was insensitive to all low income students, it has opened a wide discussion among college students across the country regarding issues with the admissions process. College admissions is not perfect, and students should actively understand their institution's policies and discuss them in a public space in order to come to their own conclusions.

Lead Image Credit: Austin Nguyen via Flickr Creative Commons

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Diana Pope - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Diana is a political science major who also enjoys journalism, history, and philosophy. She loves writing, researching, and debating about politics. In her free time, she enjoys Grey's anatomy marathons and reading detective fiction.

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