Statement Regarding Our Coverage of Michael Alroy’s Event at Hillel | FAU

  • This story is for OutFAU, our student publication covering Florida Atlantic University. To see more from OutFAU click here.

OutFAU was founded in protest of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to defund diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the state university system. We believe that this government overreach suppressed students’ freedom of expression, and readers’ freedom to learn and engage with diverse perspectives within FAU. 

Recently, we published a preview for a talk featuring an Israel Defense Forces veteran at our campus Hillel Center — a decision that angered some of our readers. I have read and deeply considered all of your comments. As Executive Editor, I take responsibility for ways that we could have approached our coverage differently. Using the phrasing “IDF soldier” in the headline framed this event as a political event when it was focused on the trans experience from an individual Israeli’s perspective. The writer wanted to include a critic’s opinion of the event, whereas I wasn’t sure if that was the best route.

We recognize that this event comes at a time when tensions are high due to Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip in response to the deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7. Israel’s subsequent invasion has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and displaced almost two million, as reported by the Associated Press. We understand that this topic is deeply sensitive and can evoke strong emotions and differing perspectives among our readers.

We advocate for the freedom of our readers to decide which campus events to attend or not attend. By knowing about these events, students have the opportunity to attend, start discussions and debates with peers, stage a protest, or write a letter to the editor of a publication. Censoring the event, ignoring it, and not writing about it, would be depriving students of these options and limiting their ability to engage with and respond as they see fit. Our decision to cover this event was not an endorsement of any political stance or military action.

I want to make it clear that I understand this event did not happen in a vacuum. As a queer student paper, however, it is important our readers have knowledge about all queer events relevant to our campus community. Upon reflection, I recognize that this event should have been covered differently, but I still believe it should have been covered. By ignoring the event, we would be depriving readers of this freedom to act as they see fit.

We firmly believe in the importance of free speech and open dialogue, even on controversial or divisive issues. We understand that not everyone will agree with our editorial decisions, and we welcome constructive feedback and differing viewpoints.

Campus event previews reflect our environment, while opinion pieces mold it. I want this paper to be an open mic, or a call and response — not one big megaphone. I encourage readers to engage with us, share their perspectives, and participate in the conversations, debates, and actions that shape our campus.


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