The Heckler‘s Stuef responds to backlash as critics prepare for forum

untitledFrom the Heckler‘s blog

Tonight, recent issues of the student satire magazine Georgetown Heckler will be the subject of a student forum planned by students who have found some of its content offensive. Jack Stuef (COL ’10), the Heckler‘s editor, told the Voice last night that he planned to attend, too.

“I haven’t really planned this out yet, but obviously I’ll try to explain who we are and where we’re coming from because I think there’s a lot of confusion as to who the Heckler is and what our point is,” he said.

“I stand behind everything I’ve ever printed and everything I’ve ever written at the Heckler and I’ll continue to do that at the meeting. And I’ll try to explain where I’m coming from and hopefully there will be some understanding.”

The forum will take place in White Gravenor 201A at 8:30 p.m.

Chair of the Working Group on Admissions Ryan Wilson, who is the incoming Chair of the Student Commission for Unity, said the latest Heckler warranted discussion because it had gone too far.

“I think the Heckler missed the mark,” Wilson said. “While the paper strives to give insightful and intelligent commentary on different campus articles, the articles they’ve written over the last couple of months haven’t really done that.”

Stuef, who has written for The Onion, defended the satirical articles he had published in the last semester, particularly those satirized The Hoya and the culture some students perceived them to have in the wake of their April Fools’ Issue.  Brian Kesten (COL ’10) said that an article which used the Ku Klux Klan as a running joke in the Heckler’s most recent issue upset many students.

“A lot of people were talking about it—some were deeply upset, others felt like it was harmless satire,” Kesten said. “We felt like people needed to talk about it together—not just on Facebook or in isolation.”

Stuef said these articles were meant to satirize The Hoya, whose staff members he feels are ignorant of the fact that their satire in the April Fools’ Issue was racist, and that recent articles are nothing out of the ordinary.

“Obviously they’re our point of target,” he said. (Disclosure: Jack Stuef wrote for Vox Populi under a previous editor).

As for an article which satirized the Black Student Alliance, Stuef said, “That was just a small article that was meant to just suggest that, you know, maybe this is a bit of a two way street at Georgetown in regards to self- segregation. I wasn’t saying that … the Black Student Alliance is totally insular and just hang out with themselves and other black students from other universities …. It’s very unfunny when you have to explain.”

When the Voice reached him last night, Stuef said he hadn’t been invited to attend the forum. Kesten said he did not invite him because he was not sure who was chiefly behind the Heckler, and assumed that someone would invite Heckler editors or staff.

Some are seeing the Heckler as part of a persistent problem at Georgetown where satirical publications use minority communities as their subjects.

“We consistently are seeing certain communities on campus being targeted satirically,” Wilson said, adding that the current working groups that were set up in response to the SCU report on campus diversity and The Hoya‘s  April Fools’ Issue are working to promote dialogue on campus that can prevent “instances like the Heckler.

Reporting by Imani Tate and Molly Redden

18 Comments on “The Heckler‘s Stuef responds to backlash as critics prepare for forum

  1. This guy and his offensive website (it’s not a newspaper, and it’s not a SAC group) should just be ignored. He only gets publicity because he writes hateful articles, claims they are satire, and then people get angry, leading to forums on the matter, and his readership goes through the roof. I say ‘He’ instead of ‘they’ because he’s the only Heckler writer whose name is public. It’s interesting that they supposedly stand behind everything they’ve written yet refuse to put their names to it. I suppose it’s for fear that we might actually know exactly which person to shun. I also say ‘he’ because the entire process goes through him, and the only way an article is published (or even drafted) is if he thinks it’s funny. He’s the last person from an earlier, better staff, and it certainly appears that any semblance of taste, or humor for that matter, disappeared with his predecessors.

  2. Any particular reason you chose to clarify that you weren’t a famous black basketball player?

  3. People need to lighten the hell up. The Heckler is one of the only funny things to come out of Georgetown. Students here are so politically correct that you can’t fart without someone screaming “you racist heteronormative tool of the patriarchy!!!!!”

    It’s as if there didn’t exist any other big issues to devote their lives to solving. Stop wasting time on a student town hall arguing about a non-issue. Seriously, go fix hunger in Africa you self righteous pricks.

  4. Umm . . . I don’t think the readership model of the Heckler is “Let’s piss off as many people as we can, and then they’ll hold a bullshit community forum to protest and we’ll get readership UP THE SHIZZAY!!!”

    If it is, it’s certainly not a successful model, since this is the first time it’s happened.

  5. Hey “Not Greg Monroe”, rather than bitch about people who don’t put their real names down so that everyone can see, why don’t you start leading by example?

  6. Not greg monroe, do you really think me, Jack, and the rest of the heckler writers really want to spend 3 hours of our finals study time in some town hall meeting and have another meeting with the administration. The point of articles is to be funny and occasionally to be poignant. This article is criticizing racial ignorance and how people at georgetown frequently do racist things without realizing it. I’m actually king of glad that this article is leading to a discussion, but that sure as hell was not any of our writers’ intention. The idea that we are attention whores is beyond ridiculous. I was actually quite shocked to learn that anyone even read the heckler.

  7. Hey All,

    I think there’s a bigger question here that’s being missed; a bigger question that we the students need to ask Georgetown (admissions, specifically). The question is, why does Georgetown admit racist students? I mean, our admissions process is pretty competitive – you’d think we have enough room with the numbers to make sure that none of the people that get accepted are racist. Change this, and together, we change Georgetown.


  8. Hey Average Joe, it’s not like there’s a “check here if you’re racist” box on the application.

  9. @Average Joe (Not at all saying the Heckler’s intention was to be racist, but) How do you propose Georgetown start determining if a prospective student is racist?
    Besides, isn’t part of the point of a university education to help broaden students’ horizons, as horribly cliched as that might sound?

  10. @Average Joe: Does “average” stand for average intelligence? Or below-average intelligence? Because your plan is ridiculous at best. If we only took non-racists, we’d have about 500 students. Most of whom would be black. Is that really what you want? I know that might sound racist, but it isn’t, so it’s not.

    And “Anonymous,” they got rid of the “check here if you’re a racist” box five years ago for the same reason they got rid of the “check here if you’re a Jew box” in 1996. People lie. Obviously they would say they were racist even if they weren’t, just so that Georgetown would consider their application. The admissions office now does a much better job of admitting racist students by just looking for subtle hints in applications, like letters of recommendation written by local KKK leaders or personal statements about summer internships at the Pro-Defamation League.

    [This portion of the comment deleted for hateful language].

  11. Just to make it clear, that was satire. What, don’t tell me I don’t understand it either!

  12. @Everyone who just commented,

    Thank you for your constructive criticism. However, my criticism of these details is that well, they are details. I’m a big picture guy – I see trends, analyze large scale problems and weighty issues, and most importantly, I find solutions. I gave Georgetown the solution and now its up to them to put in the grunt work.

    Georgetown, you’re welcome.


    Average Joe

  13. I can’t tell if that’s a joke or the actual thought process of an MSB student.

  14. That’s a really mean thing to say to somebody. I thought this was a forum of open ideas and thoughtfulness. This is insulting, childish, and most of all, disappointing.

  15. Pingback: Vox Populi » A recap of Tuesday’s Heckler forum, with written reactions from Todd Olson and students

  16. Pingback: Vox Populi » Heckler alum Zach Rabiroff (COL ‘09) responds to racism charges

  17. Pingback: Vox Populi » You’ve been a bad, bad Hoya: picking on kids edition

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