The Institute For Human Studies, a non-profit educational organization, awarded Yale Daily News columnist Josh Chafetz a third-place prize in its annual Felix Morley Journalism competition. Chafetz, whose fiery brand of libertarianism and liberalism has appeared on the News’ opinion and editorial page underneath the tag “Assay” since October 1999, took home $750 for the award, announced February 27.

Chafetz, former editor in chief of the Yale Political Quarterly, has covered topics as diverse as former president Clinton’s spiraling pardoning scandal to American drug policy in Columbia. He has also used his column to take on issues closer to home, including the rights of Annette Wilson, the roving “flower lady,” to sell her goods throughout the city.

His column’s title, “Assay,” is a play on the word’s many meanings, including to question and attack, Chafetz said. “I like to think of my column as falling somewhere in between the two,” he said.

In one column the Institute For Human Studies cited in its award, Chafetz defended the legal right of Ku Klux Klan members to protest anonymously with robs on top of their faces. “However odious we may find their message, wearing Klan regalia is undoubtedly a part of that message,” he wrote. “And, as that message is political in character, it falls onto what the court has termed ‘core’ First Amendment ground.”

Chafetz, 21, will be studying at Oxford University next year as a Rhodes scholar.

— YDN Staff