New Jersey’s run of a few bad centuries continues with the depressing news that a satirical newspaper at the state’s flagship university has managed to fail utterly at basic satire.
The newspaper, a weekly called The Medium that aspires to be like The Onion, ran an article that referred to members of a sorority as farm animals and otherwise gratuitously insulted them.
The topic of the story was the looming shutdown of the struggling Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapter on the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, reports the New York Daily News.
The headline was: “Alpha Chi Omega to Shut Down; ‘We don’t want to be like you ugly bitches’ Potential Pledges say.”
The Medium chose to illustrate the story with a cow standing in a pasture. Behind the cow is a big, red barn ornamented with Alpha Chi Omega’s Greek letters.
The article described the sorority’s pledge class as “a measly three wildebeests and an elephant, leaving the organization unable to sufficiently fill its Union St. stable,” the Daily News explains.
The author of the piece cleverly used Satanic Yoda as a nom de guerre.
When the editors realized that the article might have gone a bit beyond the bounds of good taste, they pulled it. They also issued a hasty apology on The Medium’s Facebook page.
“Since our paper is satirical in nature and no stranger to controversy, it is rare that we apologize for our content. However, it is the feeling of this editorial board that the article in question merits an apology,” the Facebook missive read. “It was written in a cruel, debasing manner that does not reflect the values or goals of our organization. Our aim is to create humorous content which will entertain the University community; the article that ran this week was cruel and relied on cheap jokes in lieu of humor.”
Last week, several hundred students assembled in a display of Greek unity, reports the Daily Targum, the real campus newspaper.
“Targeting one specific sorority, especially when they’re losing what I’m sure many of them love, it’s like kicking someone while they’re down,” Theta Delta Chi fraternity member Sean Summers told the Targum.
Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity Natale Mazzaferro noted that The Medium’s article was published during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
The Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Rutgers will close before the fall 2013 semester begins, the Targum says. The primary cause appears to be too few members.
The current members of the chapter say they are devastated.
“We worked so hard for formal recruitment, working in heels and inviting girls into our house,” sorority member Natasha Marchick told the Targum. “We put all of our hearts into recruitment and this was not the planned outcome.”