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Editors discuss comic strips

Ashley Charnley | Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Editors of The Observer attended Monday’s BOG meeting to discuss student discontent about comic strips published in this paper last week.

Dissatisfaction over the comic strips, which addressed the new advertising campaign at Saint Mary’s and used stereotypes of Saint Mary’s students, follow protests at the College about past comics printed in The Observer in recent years.

Observer Editor-in-Chief Maddie Hanna, Managing Editor Ken Fowler and Saint Mary’s Editor Katie Kohler were present at Monday’s meeting to answer questions for BOG members.

Student body president Kim Hodges said BOG sought to learn more about The Observer’s process behind publishing comics.

“We wanted to find out the channels in which articles, specifically comic strips, are channeled and what could be changed,” Kim Hodges, Saint Mary’s student body president, said after the meeting Monday.

BOG members said they would like to see the Saint Mary’s editor reviewing content pertaining to Saint Mary’s before it is published.

“We are looking into gathering more input from our Saint Mary’s staffers,” Hanna said later Monday night.

At least some Saint Mary’s students feel their identity has come under attack.

“We want to defend our honor as Saint Mary’s women,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she and other BOG members wanted to support students who were offended by the comic strips.

“We understand that the entire student body doesn’t feel the same way,” she said. “We are advocating on the behalf of the students who do not want to be viewed as that type of character.”

Hanna emphasized that opinions of the comics’ authors were not reflections of the opinions of the paper.

“Our cartoonists often express views that are not necessarily the views of the staff,” she said.

Hodges said she does not dislike The Observer as a whole.

“The Observer is viewed in a good light, as they do represent both the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame campuses,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she feels the meeting was productive. She said BOG is working to create forums between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s women to “deconstruct the preconceived notions on both sides.”

In other BOG news:

u Kelly Fiela, president of Fiela-Smith Corporation, presented promotional products that she said could help BOG increase involvement in campus activities.

u Hodges said Sodexho, the food services provider at Saint Mary’s, will be the topic of the next “Food for Thought” meeting. It will take place Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in the West Wing of the College’s dining hall. Barry Bowles, general manager of dining facilities, will answer questions and take suggestions.

u Cassie Quaglia, president of the Residence Hall Association, said trick or treating and Haunted Holy Cross will be held on Oct. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8.

Le Mans Hall Council will hold the Le Mans Murder Mystery on Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge.

u Mary Frantz, Missions Coordinator, spoke about this week’s Theology on Fire lecture, “Life’s More than a Wedding: Spirituality for Single Life and Marriage.” The discussion will be Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Student Lounge of the Student Center. Anita Houck, an associate professor in the department of religious studies, will present.

u “Recycled Percussion” will take place at Saint Mary’s on Oct. 30, said Cassie Callon, president of the Student Activities Board. “Recycled Percussion” is a musical group currently performing its “Man vs. Machine Tour.”