Letter from the Editor

Dear Campus Community,


I write to you today to express on behalf of myself and The Trail our deepest regret and apology for publishing an offensive and insensitive image in the Combat Zone section of the March 15 issue. The image was intended to be a lighthearted joke about the weather involving President Crawford, but the effect of the image was inappropriate and dehumanizing, and contains echoes of offensive portrayals of people of color that have contributed to a culture of racism and intolerance. So, though the image was not created with harmful intent, the fact is that it was insensitive — and that is, in the end, what matters.


Several factors contributed to the image not being reviewed by the normal number of editors under the standard review process before publication. The first and only time I saw the full image was in my final review, and, regrettably, I was more focused on editing the copy, and did not thoroughly consider the effect of the graphic. In addition to recognizing the value and necessity of the normal review process, I and The Trail staff are doing the following to address the situation and to prevent it from happening again:


  • Copies of the issue have been removed from campus and have not been distributed to our off-campus locations
  • Process oversight will be strengthened to ensure each section is reviewed by at least myself, the section editor, the art director, a copy editor and the managing copy editor before an issue is released for publication
  • I and Trail staff will undergo cultural competency training in coordination with the Office of Intercultural Engagement, the Library and the African American Studies Department by the end of the semester
  • Cultural competency training will be added to the beginning-of-the-year staff training for The Trail in the fall of 2019


I am deeply sorry for any offense and hurt that this image caused. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback by email at trail@pugetsound.edu. I am committed to learning from this situation and using it to make The Trail a better and more aware newspaper.


With apology,

Becca Miserlian

Trail Editor-in-Chief


Anyone interested in reading the other articles published in the March 15 issue can access them on our website at trail.pugetsound.edu.