Editor of Boston U paper resigns after rape spoof

Apr 3, 2012, 11:10 PM

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) – The editor of Boston University’s independent student newspaper stepped down Tuesday after an April Fools’ edition that appeared to mock rape and drug crimes.

Under the spoof banner “The Disney Free Press,” one story reported the arrests of “seven frat dwarves” for allegedly drugging and raping a female known as the “fairest of them all.”

Chelsea Diana, the sophomore journalism major who edited The Daily Free Press, apologized Monday in a letter that called the edition “callous and ignorant.” She declined to comment further Tuesday, when the newspaper’s board of directors asked for and got her resignation.

The newspaper also had a story about Cinderella’s prostitution arrest, and another reporting that a woman named Alice had bought LSD from the “Lost Boys fraternity.”

The mock edition followed the recent arrests of two of the school’s male hockey players on sex-related charges and was published three days after a campus rally against sexual violence.

Diana’s apology said that while the stories were meant as jokes, “simply writing them perpetuated rape culture.”

In December, police arrested a Boston University hockey player who allegedly forced his way into a female student’s dorm room and groped her.

In February, authorities arrested a different player they accused of raping a female student. Both pleaded not guilty, and the arrests sparked the university to form a task force to investigate the hockey team’s “culture and climate.”

The task force won’t be expanded because of the newspaper edition, and administration officials won’t seek to stop the paper’s circulation on campus, school spokesman Colin Riley said.

“It’s a student publication totally independent from the university. We’ve expressed our concern that it wasn’t the best action,” Riley said.

The newspaper is a nonprofit that doesn’t get tuition dollars but has benefited from advertising bought by the private university.

Annie Ropeik, the 21-year-old senior who leads the newspaper’s board, said spoof editions are an annual tradition.

“I can’t tell you that Chelsea was solely responsible, but as editor in chief it is her responsibility of what to run,” Ropeik said, adding that no more resignations were planned.

Jimmy Czodli, president of the university’s Interfraternity Council, said the joke edition “perpetuated negative stereotypes that many of us have worked our entire college careers to tear down.” He added that the editor’s resignation and board apology were helping repair the damage.

Howard Male, the student body president, said the spoof drew criticism at Monday’s student senate meeting.

“We really should be treating our fellow students with respect and keeping in mind … that sexual assaults have touched the lives of many of our students,” he said Tuesday.


Online: The Daily Free Press,

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE- This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what is describ...

Associated Press

4 charged with transporting Iranian-made weapons face detention hearings in US court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four crew members of an unflagged vessel that U.S. officials say was carrying Iranian-made missile components are scheduled to appear Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Virginia, where prosecutors are expected to argue they should be held without bond while they await trial. The night of Jan. 11, U.S. Central Command […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in deaths of 2 officers at Virginia college in 2022 and is sentenced to life

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — A man who had been scheduled for trial in the shooting deaths of two popular police officers at a Virginia college in 2022 instead pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Alexander Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Bridgewater College […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearin...

Associated Press

Yellen urges world leaders to ‘unlock’ frozen Russian Central Bank assets and send them to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday offered her strongest public support yet for the idea of liquidating roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets and using them for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized […]

3 hours ago

Middle class is shrinking, lower case is growing, Valley economist says...


Middle-class Americans may not be able to afford a home, Valley economist says

Why is the middle class shrinking? Is the U.S. economy growing? Valley economist Jim Rounds answered these questions on Monday.

3 hours ago

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) leaves a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill on April 27, ...

Kevin Stone

Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko said she’s excited about the next chapter of her Arizona political career while expressing frustration about her tenure in Washington.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Court documents shed new details in killing of nursing student at University of Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The suspect in the killing of a nursing student on the University of Georgia campus used an object as a weapon in the crime and he’s also accused of “disfiguring her skull,” according to newly filed arrest affidavits. Jose Ibarra, who faces multiple murder and assault charges, is also accused of dragging […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Editor of Boston U paper resigns after rape spoof