October 15th, 2012 | University

Harvard article stereotypes, cycles through apologies

Harvard University
Harvard University Photo by Pingswept/Creative Commons.

An article published Saturday for The Harvard Voice is coming under fire for both its editorial content and the way editors of the publication later responded to national criticism.

The article, titled “5 People You’ll See at Pre-Interview Receptions,” listed the five stereotypical caricatures that a person might expect to encounter when applying for jobs. The list includes the “Ass Kisser,” “Final Club Bro,” “Interview Selection Mistake,” “Hipster” and “The Super-Interviewee” — which had originally been “The Asian” but was changed after the publication was criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of Asian-Americans.

But, if the portrayal itself weren’t bad enough, the editors of the piece also cycled through multiple apology notes and author bylines as the piece garnered more and more attention. The “author” of the piece changed “The Voice Staff” to “Anonymous,” and, according to Jezebel, the editor’s notes on the piece also went through multiple cycles:

Originally from:

Note from the Editors: We deeply apologize if this satirical article is viewed by some as racially stereotyping and offensive. However, we stand by our decision to publish this piece as a different look at the recruiting process at Harvard, which is notoriously dominated by finance and consulting.

Before moving on to:

Note from the Editors: We deeply apologize if this article has offended our readers. Though the article was written by an anonymous contributor, we have removed the inappropriate content because it is not in line with The Voice‘s mission of promoting satirical, yet inclusive, content.

Note from the Writer: Clearly, I’ve been censored, which in itself is an interesting reflection on free speech in America. If you couldn’t tell that this article was satire, then we have bigger problems than me being “offensive.”

(If you are curious to know what the fifth stereotype is, just take a quick look around the room. JK!)

And is now:

Note from the Editors: We deeply apologize if this article has offended our readers. Though the article was written by an anonymous contributor, we have removed the inappropriate content because it is not in line with The Voice‘s mission of promoting satirical, yet inclusive, content.

But the worst part about the publication isn’t the initial content — which is now gone. It’s the fact that the editors changed the author line from “The Voice Staff” to “Anonymous,” then removed some of the piece’s content, then uploaded a lackluster apology note before revising and uploading other notes as well.

The piece breaks all but one of the pillars in The Voice’s blog “Verynoice,” where the article was published.

“Noice includes relevant, irreverent, witty and interesting commentary on student life at Harvard and beyond,” reads the blog’s “About” section.

Maybe a short and witty style could have given the piece some color, but, as the piece clearly shows, it can be difficult to make color funny yet tasteful.

Comments on the article are closed.

  • claypoint2

    Well, Observer… the Game *is* approaching!

  • observer

    Wow … not ONE but TWO “we’re obsessed with Harvard” stories in the same edition of the Blog!