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 - President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. The indic...
Associated Press

Worries grow that Trump indictment will eclipse other probes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The indictment against former President Donald Trump involving a payoff to suppress claims of an extramarital sexual encounter is raising concerns that it could undermine public confidence in what democracy experts view as far more important investigations. Trump is facing fake electors from battleground states and his role in the events that […]
12 hours ago
Hundreds of people gather on the lawn of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, on Friday March 31, ...
Associated Press

Rallies hope to build support for transgender amid backlash

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Hundreds of young people gathered on the lawn of the Vermont Statehouse on Friday as part of a nationwide series of events to build support for transgender rights amid what they denounced as an increasingly hostile climate. Chanting, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” many draped themselves in pride […]
12 hours ago
FILE - An anti-abortion advocate along with abortion rights advocates hold up signs during the Emer...
Associated Press

New Mexico Supreme Court blocks local abortion ordinances

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court blocked local anti-abortion ordinances Friday pending the outcome of a case centered on constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. The ruling granted a request by Democratic state Attorney General Raúl Torrez and follows the state’s recent adoption of a new abortion rights bill […]
12 hours ago
A sunset spectacle featuring two mitten-shaped rock formations crosses Monument Valley Tribal Park ...
Associated Press

Towering Monument Valley buttes display sunset spectacle

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah (AP) — A sunset spectacle featuring two mitten-shaped rock formations played out this week at Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation along the Arizona and Utah border. Twice a year, in late March and mid-September, spectators, photographers and videographers get a visual treat. As the sun sinks, the West Mitten Butte’s shadow […]
12 hours ago
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted by officers from the Lefortovsky court to...
Associated Press

Journal reporter’s arrest threatens reporting from Russia

NEW YORK (AP) — The arrest of a Wall Street Journal reporter on espionage charges in Russia has news organizations based outside the country weighing for the second time in a year whether the risks of reporting there during wartime are too great. The Journal and other news outlets continued to press Friday for the […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Kentucky state Sen. Stephen West talks about a medical marijuana bill during a House Committ...
Associated Press

Beshear signs bipartisan bills, with campaign looming

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear joined with Republican lawmakers as he signed historic measures Friday that will sports wagering in Kentucky, calling it an example of divided government working to get the “tough things” done that voters want. Facing a reelection campaign that soon will intensify, the governor celebrated with GOP sponsors […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Editor of Boston U paper resigns after rape spoof