Student paper apologizes for publishing column critical of ‘inappropriate sexual events’

John Parker, a student at Syracuse University, recently had a disclaimer placed on his column after backlash from fellow students and alumni.

His column discussed the oversexualization of campus events and activities.

Parker told Campus Reform that the editorial board ‘threw [him] under the bus.’

A student at Syracuse University (SU) had his name taken off an anti-sexualization column he wrote following complaints from his fellow classmates. 

On Mar. 30, John Parker had his column, ‘SU’s campus is becoming saturated with inappropriate sexual events,’ published in SU’s publication, The Daily Orange.

Parker’s column highlights SU’s recent shift to oversexualizational, specifically with certain events the university has held. In his piece, he calls out courses being offered by his school, along with a drag show that recently took place on campus.

“From seminars like Kink 101 to school-sanctioned extracurriculars like the recent drag shows, it seems like everything has been sexualized at Syracuse University,” Parker wrote. “While at first glance these eccentricities of college life may seem harmless, the truth is that they are anything but.”

[RELATED: Chicago Maroon editors apologize for publishing piece condemning anti-Semitism]

Parker also argues that speaking out against oversexualized events, like SU’s most recent drag show, is not an attack on the LGBTQ community but an attempt to prevent further stereotypes, along with an attempt to protect the school’s appearance. 

“While the show may have felt empowering for individuals on stage, it plays into various stereotypes and can further alienate the LGBTQ community.”

Parker pointed Campus Reform in the direction of negative tweets about him and his work following publication.

“This article is ignorant, homophobic, and in many cases completely lying. Comprehensive (college) sex ed is an incredible thing, not a hypersexualization of campus culture. @dailyorange it’s incredibly disappointing that you’re allowing people to use your platform to spread hate,” one user tweeted

Another tweet reads, “God forbid one of the most hyper-sexual campuses in the US give students safe spaces to learn about/express their sexuality. I was a journalism student at SU from 2015-2020 and the DO consistently published quality, thought-provoking content. This is way below their standard.”

One day after the initial publication date of Parker’s column, The Daily Orange released a statement apologizing for the content of his piece, a piece that The Daily Orange approved for publication. 

“Last night, The Daily Orange published a column about Syracuse University being inundated with sexualized activity and inappropriateness. This was a mistake to publish, and we realized that too late,” the apology reads. 

[RELATED: Student booted as newspaper’s editor-in-chief over mask mandate editorial]

The Daily Orange also updated Parker’s article. In the update, not only was his name removed from the column, but a disclaimer was also added to the top of the piece.

“Disclaimer: The D.O. recognizes that this column contains hateful speech that harms and disrespects our readers and our community. We have decided to keep the column up so that we do not shy away from our mistakes, as doing so would be an additional injustice to our readers and our community,” the message reads. 

John Parker spoke with Campus Reform about the incident in question, citing both censorship and lack of political diversity concerns. 

“This is a stereotypical example of speech not within the political orthodoxy being punished,” Parker told Campus Reform.

He also said that The Daily Orange’s apology “betrays where we’re at culturally on college campuses.”

“The board published it then threw me under the bus as hateful, and an entire cadre of people came out of the woodwork to publicly defame me and my work.”

Campus Reform reached out to Syracuse University and The Daily Orange for comment, but did not receive a response.

Follow @thelogandubil on Twitter.