(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The managing board of the Cavalier Daily, the campus newspaper at the University of Virginia, apologized on Wednesday for an ill-advised April Fool’s Day joke that poked fun at a recent incident in which Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents allegedly injured a student, Martese Johnson, while arresting him.
The front page of Wednesday’s issue featured an article, apparently an attempt at satire, headlined “ABC agents tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels.” The subheader read “University students decry ‘Trail of Schmears.'”
The paper’s managing board issued a swift apology, saying that that article, as well as a second entitled “Zeta Psi hosts ‘Rosa Parks’ party,” were removed from the newspaper’s website.
“The April Fools editions [are] meant to start a converastion and provide satirical commentary on important issues,” the managing board wrote in a statement. “The April Fools edition is not meant to come at the expense of our peers. We neglected to foresee that these pieces would come across as the latter, and for that, we regret their publication.”
Their statement reiterated the Cavalier Daily‘s mission of providing “the University community with new, relevant and insightful information that inspires critical conversation and even action on Grounds. Today’s April Fools edition was meant to further this mission in a humorous and satirical manner,” they wrote. “Unfortunately, we fell short of this goal today.”
The university has dealt with multiple controversies in recent months. Besides the incident involving Virginia ABC agents and Martese Johnson in March, the school was also the subject of a scathing Rolling Stone magazine report detailing an alleged on-campus sexual assault. The magazine has since backtracked on the story, and Charlottesville Police recently announced that they had found no evidence of the alleged rape.
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