On Oct. 30, Mast Media printed its first full edition of Mast Magazine featuring the cover story “Get Drunk, Make Mistakes.” The Mast Media Editorial Board would like to follow the publication and the resulting conversation with a public clarification.
Student Media at any university holds a large amount of responsibility. It’s not a marketing tool for its school. Rather, it must highlight the strengths of its community while it exposes its weaknesses — in an expression of deep care for the university its participants attend and enjoy.
At Mast Media, we love being Lutes. We love that the culture of Pacific Lutheran University promotes “thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care.” It’s why we celebrate Lutes like Nathan Olson, who defied odds as an autistic student in higher education. It’s also why we shed lights on potentially problematic issues on campus, like party culture.
Mast Media apologizes for ineffectively living up to this purpose at PLU with Volume 1, Issue 2 of Mast Magazine.
We think talking about partying at PLU is important. We decided to tell a story entitled “Get Drunk Make Mistakes” to shed light on a little-talked about issue, hoping to spark conversations about how party culture works and what it means for our community.
The reporter chose to do this by creatively incorporating multiple events she viewed and stories retold to her into one narrative. We don’t advocate participating in any of these activities. We also do not wish to discriminate against those who wish to participate. We apologize for not making this message clear.
We attempted to maintain anonymity of all sources in the story. In photos, we covered faces with Lancelute mascot heads. A video was created that told the chronological story of a party. Participants were promised anonymity, including through distortion of voices. This was not fully accomplished. We apologize for not appropriately concealing the identities of those who were promised such, and we regret any perceived generalizations made about student groups.
There were also concerns about the story “S— Happens.” We desired to show the daily struggles of our fantastic environmental services staff, not glorify any inappropriate behavior.
We apologize to anyone who felt they weren’t given the care and respect they deserve as members of our community due to the content of Mast Magazine.
Most importantly, we wish to use Mast Magazine and the stories in it to point campus conversation toward productive discourse. In this issue, that meant writing about partying and the health and safety issues that follow it, the way students modify their body as artistic expression, the service of environmental services staff and the resiliency of a PLU student.
We sincerely apologize that the stories we told were not more thoughtfully designed in a way which facilitated productive conversation.
As a PLU student organization, we are dedicated to being intentional in our interactions with campus dialogue. In the coming months and the publications that accompany it, we plan on engaging with the student body we proudly belong to through events and stories that help it continue to grow and evolve to a better place.
We hope you will actively share your thoughts and feelings about the things that matter to you as we strive to meaningfully care for Pacific Lutheran University.