From the editor: The Sou’wester is not being censored

Alice Berry '21, Editor-in-Chief

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Recently, a former member of The Sou’wester editorial staff released a series of tweets regarding a lawsuit she was reporting on against Rhodes. The suit, Bose v. Bea, alleges that a professor referred a student to the Honor Council in an act of retaliation and that Rhodes did not fulfill its obligation to the student. Neither the professor nor Rhodes have been found guilty in any of the legal proceedings thus far. The three-year-old case is set to go to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals soon.

Those tweets are based in part on an off-the-record conversation with two administrative officials. All parties present, including myself, verbally consented to speak off-the-record. The writer decided to  record the meeting on her phone despite that verbal agreement.

Prior to the meeting, the writer sent a draft of her article to an administrator. At this time, the administrator was obligated to send it to Rhodes’s lawyers. The lawyers responded with a list of potential legal issues with the article that the professor involved in the case might pursue in court. The conversation we had was about how to protect the writer, myself, and The Sou’wester from litigation. We were never threatened with a lawsuit. We have been repeatedly assured by various members of administration, including President Hass, that what and when The Sou’wester publishes is completely the decision of The Sou’wester.

Information about Bose v. Bea is public knowledge. Anyone with a Public Access to Court Electronic Knowledge (PACER) account can access these court documents. Claims that Rhodes attempted to keep the case a secret or to prevent The Sou’wester from publishing on it are false. The article in question has not been fact-checked by a third party source, and as such is not up to our standard. When the article does reach the standards we hold ourselves to, we will publish it.

 

NOTE: A previous version of this story did not include the results of Bose v. Bea thus far. The story has been edited to include this information.