HOW DID THIS HAPPEN: Skidmore News, Glotzbach, and the KKK

30411881_10209330110164870_3262324585286074368_oBy Nick Papazian,
on behalf of the Skidmo’ Daily Editorial Board

***DISCLAIMER: Everything in this article is genuinely true. Honestly, we here at Skidmo’ Daily wish we could make up shit this ridiculous.***

 

For well over a month, Skidmore students anxiously waited for President Glotzbach to release a statement on the presence of the KKK in Saratoga Springs. His lack of a statement had been a considerable source of unease amongst the student body. But here’s the thing: Glotzbach made a statement in February. So why did almost nobody hear about it?

This story starts with two mistakes. The first one was made by the administration. The second mistake is The Skidmore News.

As stated in a March 20th email sent from the Office of the President: on February 11th, “fliers referring to the promotion of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), anti-interracial partnering, and anti-LGBTQIA+ were left on vehicles and some homes in an area of Saratoga Springs where some Skidmore students live.”

After the event occurred, students on campus called on Glotzbach to make a statement on the issue. People of color comprise 22% of the student body at Skidmore, according to the diversity page on the Skidmore College website, and it is crucial that these students and others threatened by these fliers can rely on their school to support and look out for them. However, a majority of the student body appeared unaware that Glotzbach did make a statement.

He made a statement through the Skidmore News.

The March 20th email states that, on February 21st, The Skidmore News “reported President Glotzbach’s condemnation of this deplorable incident.” The first thing to take into account is that it took President Glotzbach ten fucking days after the fact to issue a statement addressing the presence of the KKK near Skidmore. Another important detail here is that nobody reads the Skidmore News.

Skidmore News does not publish in print, which means the only newspaper on campus that actually comes out on paper is genuinely a joke (it’s us). Most Skidmore News issues are released as mass emails with the subject line “Skidmore Weekly Bulletin.”

That being said, the email which contained the KKK article had a subject line that read “Reform After Parkland: If Not Now, When?; KKK Flyers Prompt Concern for Off-Campus Safety; The Three Professors Leaving the Political Science Department.” However, the part of the subject line that mentions the KKK is not visible without clicking on the email. This is a problem because, from what we can tell here at the Skidmo’ Daily, most Skidmore students delete this email without reading it. While we don’t have the actual statistics on readership for the Skidmore News, we can say with confidence that it is clearly not enough people to notice and notify others that President Glotzbach made a statement addressing the KKK in February. In other words, readership for the Skidmore News could be regarded as negligible.

This is just as well, honestly, because the Skidmore News article in which Glotzbach’s statement was written contains only TWO WORDS of his statement: “deplorable incident.” The article then proceeds to paraphrase the rest of his statement (or failed to put quotation marks around it—honestly we couldn’t tell).

So far, this story has shown us the administrative error in releasing a statement on the KKK ten days late AND doing so through the Skidmore News. However, these mistakes were made in February, which begs the question–why did it take an entire month from the release of the original statement for the student body to be presented with this information in another form?

Apparently, President Glotzbach eventually became aware of Skidmore News’s low readership as well. On March 20th, at a tour guide reception held in the President’s home, Glotzbach was asked about the KKK issue. He responded to this question by explaining that he had made a statement through the Skidmore News, but that, apparently, nobody reads it (again—this is all true; we have a tour guide on staff).

Surely Skidmore News must have noticed that people didn’t get the memo. After all, there were posters demanding a statement from Glotzbach going up by March. Additionally, on March 13th, an email was sent to all club presidents regarding these posters. In the email, the students putting up the posters directly appealed to club presidents. As they explained in the message, “Only official clubs are allowed to poster inside Skidmore buildings, but that’s where you [club presidents] come in! We’re writing to ask if your club would be interested in sponsoring a poster to be hung outside Glotzbach’s office.” The president of Skidmore News should have seen this email, and yet they seemingly made no effort to spread the word of Glotzbach’s February statement.

As it happens, the students who organized the poster movement were aware of the Skidmore News article, though it seems they were the exception in this regard. That being said, these students still found the Skidmore News statement to be insufficient. “We didn’t feel like it was enough or initiated by the administration,” they explained to us in an email. “We knew a response and resources had been sent out to select groups of students, but we wanted those resources and that response made available to everyone on campus.” It was not, and has yet to be. Which brings us to another issue—the administration. In addition to releasing their statement exclusively through Skidmore News (which didn’t even quote the statement), the statement itself was deemed insufficient. This should have been apparent to the administration in the face of student uproar about the issue. They should have either re-released the statement in a form that would reach more students, made a better one, or both. Even when they did finally release an email, one month later, explaining that they had already made a statement, they hardly made efforts to improve it, even though the poster movement should have made it clear that their previous statement was insufficient.

So here we are. This may be the first time you’ve heard of any of this, but the important thing to know here is that President Glotzbach did make a statement about the KKK…a month and a half ago. We don’t know exactly what he said, because the Skidmore News article didn’t quote more than two words, but we know that he condemned the KKK in what those who did see it considered an insufficient statement. We also know that, despite the fact that people were unaware that this statement had been made, both the Skidmore News and the Office of the President failed to take any additional action until the Office of the President released a statement one month after the original statement’s release. And honestly? We only read that email because we were bored. This whole thing could have gone right over our heads, too, if we had anything better to do with our time than read emails.

So if you’re one of the many who missed the Skidmore News article and the President’s email, you can rest assured that, here at The Skidmo’ Daily, we care about you, and we’ve got your back. We’ll be here to bring you the important issues and news—the real news, too—because apparently nobody else can fucking do it.

Lots of love,
The Skidmo’ Daily
Skidmore’s only (intentionally) satirical newspaper

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2 comments

  1. This article reads like a desperate attempt to ride an angry, unfounded wave heading towards Glotzbach, while also continuing the old, worn out attacks against the Skidmore News. If students are going to flip out because they think Glotzbach has not responded to something, they should probably make sure he hasn’t responded to that thing before flipping out. I still do not understand what the Skid News did wrong – in fact they reported on the thing that you’re all wishing there was more reporting on. Yet this article incessantly tries to rope them in to this. I was actually cringing while reading this article because the tone reads so desperate in its attempt to call out Skid News and bring them into this controversy. Skid News has been the punching back of the school and of Skidmo’ Daily for years, but this isn’t exactly The Onion mocking Fox News – this is one group of students attacking another group of students for no reason. Out of all articles for Skidmo Daily to “go serious” and risk ruining their satirical reputation on, they choose to punch down on a small group of students that already get mocked for participating in the paper, because apparently they didn’t report on a Glotzbach statement in the exact way they demanded. Reading this article reminded me of why, although I loved my Skidmore professors and classes during my time there, I am so relieved to be a few years removed from the Skidmore bubble.

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