The Community Editorial Board’s (CEB) articles are full of inconsistent, oftentimes hypocritical viewpoints that do not represent the student body, and it is getting increasingly worse. The CEB used to stand for positions that are objectively good for the student body, such as criticizing Durham’s increase in violent immigrations and customs enforcement agents, and promoting union and labor efforts. Truly, this group was a force of good for the university to advocate for those who didn’t always have a voice or who the university administration chose to ignore. The CEB used to be a body who many thought would gladly stand by students who have demands and sometimes even demanded the university to do more for marginalized identities themselves. Lately, the CEB has stood in contrast to students' needs, even for movements with overwhelming support such as Disability and Ethnic Studies programs. Somehow along the way, their messaging has become undeniably inconsistent from the values it grew on.
The CEB has been reduced to faulty logic and click-bait articles akin to quite honestly Buzzfeed news. For example in their recent article, they advocate for the adoption of the University of Chicago Principles of Free Expression. They make a point that many universities that have adopted these principles would have never approved of the speakers who came to Duke. However, many of the universities listed have hosted the same speakers the article criticizes, including University of Minnesota, University of Chicago and Arizona State University to name a few. By CEB’s own logic, these speakers would have never had a doubt of being approved by the Duke Student Government.
CEB also states that the SOFC guidelines would have never given the speakers the allotted amount and criticized honorariums. However just looking at the site CEB linked in their article, they obviously do. The last event took place in Griffith Theater which has a capacity of 500. Even if only 200 students showed up across all three events hosted throughout the week, they would easily pass the threshold for the amount of requested funding. The CEB writers obviously did not attend the event they’re criticizing or read the SOFC funding guidelines, otherwise they would have known this.
Finally, the CEB criticized Duke Student Government senators for abstaining from voting on controversial funding legislation not even knowing how the legislative process works. Friendly amendments to funding statutes are allowed in the Senate. Honorariums and travel expenses were two different pieces of legislation being voted on and senators debated before anything was passed through. I start to wonder, has the CEB ever even attended the Senate? Not to mention, it is incredibly tone deaf to criticize senators from abstaining on issues they feel uncomfortable with when President Wang has been doxed and harassed online. It is ironic that a giant board built on anonymity and total lack of accountability is criticizing DSG senators who are unable to do the same in the way they vote.
Probably, the CEB should just admit it has no idea what it is talking about most of the time. This is just the latest example in a line of the CEB making click-bait claims, arguing in bad faith and then pumping out another article a few weeks later on something less controversial to have a semblance of seeming not so out-of-touch. Other Opinion columnists have voiced their concern with the CEB, and that deserves applause. The bare minimum you can do as writers is interview those you’re criticizing or do research on the topics you decide to publish about.
Because the CEB demands senators not abstain, perhaps they should publicly reveal the main writers of their articles for the week or how their board votes. To any readers, I encourage you to not read the CEB, and to the CEB I demand more accountability. I lament even writing this piece, as to not give their article any more viewership than it already gets.
Political Chair for Mi Gente
Vice President Elect of Equity and Outreach
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