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Editor’s note on Justin Robinette

Monday’s story, “Duke College Republicans impeach chair,” detailing the removal of former Duke College Republicans chair Justin Robinette, a junior, has provoked a strong reaction from our readers. This is understandable, and it merits some explanation.

The Chronicle was alerted to this story around 3 a.m. Thursday when junior Justin Robinette, who had been impeached at a College Republicans meeting earlier that night, contacted two editors in The Chronicle’s University department.

In an e-mail, Robinette alleged that he was impeached because of his sexual orientation.

Friday afternoon, a Chronicle reporter met with Robinette in person. He informed her that he was not prepared for a story to be published due to personal reasons, but he said he hoped to work with us on a story in the future.

At this point, news of the incident was spreading quickly across campus and beyond the University. The Chronicle was contacted by a wide range of individuals who wished to share their thoughts on the issue. Clearly, this was no longer a private matter.

I had a personal meeting with Robinette Sunday, and we discussed his concerns about going on the record. Following our conversation, Robinette consented to an interview with The Chronicle.

We would not have published the story unless Robinette was willing to speak to us on the record.

Furthermore, The Chronicle would never seek to “out” any member of the LGBT community. Robinette gave us his explicit consent to conduct an interview, and it was our responsiblity to report a newsworthy event that has attracted the acute interest of the campus community.

Will Robinson is a Trinity junior and editor of The Chronicle. Please contact him at wrr3@duke.edu if you have questions.

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