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