When a newspaper, whether it is a university or a national newspaper, clearly supports one opinion over another, it can no longer claim to have a non-discriminatory policy. This is exactly the case in the letter from the editor in the October 10 edition of the Maroon, which was a response to at least one letter about an insert in the October 6 issue. Not only did the editor claim that the pro-life stance represented in this document was “unnecessary, divisive, and inappropriate,” she also maintained that the paper respects a non-discriminatory policy.
There is no doubt that the Maroon has in the past permitted the expression of a great variety of opinions. But in the process of proclaiming non-discrimination, the editor immediately states that there is one segment to whom the Maroon is not open: anti-abortionists. The “graphic, extreme, and inappropriate” images in the insert were not a dangerous threat to society nor were they an affront to common values. They were merely images of a healthy developing human being, much like what you would see in a museum or a textbook. What is so extreme about a smiling baby? The arguments in the insert were not unsupported, illogical, or held by an insignificant number of people, but rather were soundly argued, rational opinions based on research and are representative of the opinions of a large population, even here at the University of Chicago.
It seems that the reasoning for removing this and any similar articles or advertisements in the future are not based on whether or not the information is dangerous or inappropriate, but on whether or not it produces vicious letters that distort reality. Shouldn’t a publication whose aim is to promote diversity and hold a non-discriminatory policy be willing to accept that some people won’t be happy with these goals?
President, UofC Pro-Life Association