Since December, members of our community have come forth in disappointment and concern over remarks made on recent episodes of “The Dooley Show,” a student-produced television program aired on Emory Television (ETV). The remarks in question, though made with satirical intent, reference victims of sexual assault, members of the African-American community and members of the broader minority community. These comments have offended and hurt many students on our campus.
The Student Government Association’s sole role is to advocate and work on behalf of the student body. We have listened to many students, especially those at the community forum held during the evening of Monday, Jan. 14, and now we will act. This incident – and the underlying culture it indicates – is now our highest priority.
Since December, we have been in constant contact with leadership in the Media Council and ETV, who have been extremely cooperative and have too made this issue their highest priority. The Emory Student Government Association has temporarily suspended funding “The Dooley Show.” We are allowing the Media Council and ETV to make the final decision over the future of “The Dooley Show,” although we are confident from our conversations they will make the decision best for the Emory community. Throughout our conversations, ETV has also been making operational adjustments concerning reviewing and screening episodes to be aired on Emory Television and posted online.
Please know the Student Government Association, Media Council and ETV are not in the business of censorship. We work towards creating a campus experience which feels welcoming and safe to all members of our community, yet does not hinder the creativity and passions of students.
As an Emory community, however, we must also force this incident to make us recognize a greater issue on our campus and in our society. We must realize the irrefutable fact that, as individuals and as a community, we do not yet the practice the inclusivity we preach. Often times, this is not intentional, but it is still harmful, and it must change.
The SGA is working with other student groups, the Division of Campus Life and other staff and administrators on creating a most inclusive, positive environment on our campus and in our community. Potential steps include additional educational programs for students, faculty and staff. They include an increased focus on diversity and community education in our classrooms, and they include spaces and opportunities for different members of our student body to build bridges of respect and understanding.
As always, if you have concerns or suggestions on our path towards a better community, please do not hesitate to reach out to members of the SGA. Please stay tuned for updated responses and actions from the SGA, Media Council and ETV.
This is not an issue SGA can solve alone. This will require the conscious work and effort of all members of our community. Many students have already stepped up for this cause, and the SGA has also decided to step up. It is time we all come together and work towards #aBetterEmory.
President, Student Government Association
Vice President, Student Government Association