Times: Nobody is responsible for publishing a story about student sex at Yeshiva University

The Yeshiva sex story episode continues. Now, we do understand that people must save face and try to avoid responsibility for a controversy. A student paper published a bland anonymous story of premarital sex at the University. Censorship efforts ensued. Journalists and bloggers became interested. And now the Times.

But the NY Times article ends with statements that make little sense to us. They seem to say, all kinds of conflicting things like, we had nothing to do with this, we had something to do with this, this is not official anymore, but other things like this are official, we are democratic and are not for censorship, but we did what we did, we are open, and we are closed.

All that we get from this episode is a picture that some forty plus years after we graduated from the college, the school has no clearer idea that what it represents is a liberal arts college within a comprehensive university, combined with a Talmudic academy, and an ethos of traditional Orthodox Judaism.

Hello. Reality check. The answer to what defines the Yeshiva College and Stern College is, and always has been and will be, "All of the above." That means that the rabbis, and the ethic they represent are one major facet in a complex composite. They are not the sole regulators of all practice. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

The Times says contradictory things at the end of their account, representing well the ambiguity of the current state of affairs at the school. In our view, ambiguity is not in this instance any sign of strength, any expression of value. The school tried to suppress and censor a student story. They seriously failed. They need to own up to that and make sure it never ever happens again.
...Mayer Fertig, senior director of media relations for Yeshiva University, said the administration had not been involved in the controversy, though several faculty members had served as mediators at the Wednesday night meeting at which The Beacon and the student council parted ways.

The Beacon, the student council reported, is no longer an official club, so it will no longer get student funding, which amounted to about $500 this year. Other publications, including a humor magazine, The Quipster, also function unofficially at the school, supported by donations.

“We have a vibrant student press and a vibrant democracy here,” Mr. Fertig said, adding that the council had acted according to the wishes of the students. Rather than being about censorship, he said, “this whole thing showcases our diversity in our campus that we are proud of. This is a yeshiva and a university, and we take both very seriously.”

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