This post was authored by Emma Specter ’15 and Spencer Kaye ’14, co-editors-in-chief of the Thrill, along with David McCabe ’14, the Thrill’s founder and editor-in-chief emeritus.
Yesterday, a post we published entitled “Editorial: On Send-Off” attracted a lot of attention. While comments on the post started out fairly neutral, they quickly devolved into a mess of ugly, juvenile slurs, most of them directed toward members of two campus Greek organizations. We’ve closed commenting on the post and done our best to moderate any hurtful comments, but we think it’s important to address the issue head-on.
In the above comments, groups of Kenyon students were referred to as “posers”, “girls who cry in the corner at parties”, “ugly clowns” and — most disturbingly -“self-conscious whores.” Many readers were disgusted and disappointed with the tenor of these comments — we at the Thrill want to echo those sentiments and make it very clear that we neither condone nor tolerate this nasty, misogynistic bullshit.
Across the country, we’re seeing more and more instances in which young people are being bullied with the same kind of language that some of our commenters were using last night. That scares us for a few reasons. It’s terrifying to think that college students are engaging in behavior that’s awful by middle-school standards. But we’re more worried by the fact that anyone here thinks it’s okay to make Kenyon (even a part of Kenyon as small as a blog comments section) an unsafe space for any of their peers. And here’s one more of the many reasons why we shut down comments last night and are now writing this post: Right now, there could be a prospie reading those hateful remarks, experiencing a feeling of creeping dread as they realize that maybe the “dream school” where they thought they could make a fresh start isn’t a whole lot different from high school.
It’s not our place to deliver a lecture on mutual respect beyond that, so we’ll just say this, to commenters who take advantage of the anonymity we offer in order to personally attack members of the Kenyon community — we can’t stop you from being ignorant, hurtful jerks, but you’ll have to do it someplace other than the Thrill.