With the prestige of being the largest student newspaper in the county and the major source of information on Western's campus, there comes a great deal of responsibility.
There is the responsibility to ourselves to work in the most objective and fair manner possible. There is the responsibility to the readers of this paper to cover and analyze events which impact directly on students.
And there is also the responsibility to admit our mistakes.
It is in light of this final responsibility that the editorial board and the members of The Gazette have chosen to write this editorial an apology to a number of students on campus for the ramifications of an act of The Gazette.
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, this paper published a centrespread on cultural diversity. A week-and-a-half later, we have to deal with the ramifications of our action.
We want to apologize to any members of the Western community who were hurt, outraged or offended by our decision to run a cultural diversity issue during Black History Month.
It was a decision not made out of malice, but regardless of the reasons we have a responsibility to address the ramifications of this action.
A number of students have approached our office and have participated in a forum over the past two weeks to express their personal feelings of anger, sorrow and discontent at our decision.
We sincerely apologize for those feelings.
As well, we have come to the understanding that by publishing a cultural diversity issue during Black History Month we have, in the process, offended a number of people in the Western community.
For this lack of understanding of the importance of timing we also apologize.
But there have been positives which have come from this experience. This is not a dead issue in the minds of The Gazette or the University Students' Council. The lines of communication have been opened and together we are trying to work towards a solution so that none of these hurt feelings will ever be repeated.
This particular issue has brought into focus the disenfranchised feelings of a number of students on this campus and steps are being taken at a number of levels to work towards a more representative campus community at Western.
But it's a two-way street. We want to work towards a more-representative campus, but that also involves co-operation from both sides. We encourage students of every culture to participate not only in The Gazette, but also in every aspect of Western life.
The discussions of the past two weeks have been a step. The involvement of members of the black community in preparing features for Black History Month is another. Our hope is that those hurt by our decisions accept our apology and accept our offer to walk hand-in-hand in our efforts to make Western a more-representative community.