Mailbag: March 21

In response to the March 20 column “Dharun Ravi guilty of hate crime, stupidity is not a good defense”:

I am writing to you in response to the article titled “Dharun Ravi guilty of hate crime, stupidity is not a good defense.”

The article says that “Ravi was found guilty of hate crimes based on tweets and videos he’d streamed of Tyler Clementi,” and that, “A few friends who saw the videos told him to take them down, saying they weren’t as funny as he thought they were.”

Ravi viewed his room on the web cam for a few seconds. After seeing an intimate moment, he and his friend Molly shut the web cam down. While in an absolute technical sense, the few seconds can be classified as a broadcast, it is more like a snapshot of a scene, which was neither recorded nor put up on the Internet. Not a single second of the second tryst was viewed on the webcam, recorded or uploaded.

Ravi says he had put his computer to sleep, perhaps in response to the messages the author of the article alluded to. The prosecution claimed that Tyler himself shut down the electrical strip powering Ravi’s computer to make sure that there was no peeping.

There was no video which was recorded. There was no video which was uploaded to any server. There was no video to “take down” as the author unfortunately claims.

A rather frightening aspect about this case is the amount of misinformation spread by the media which has convicted Ravi in the court of public opinion. There is a huge difference between having a peep for a few seconds and recording and uploading the video for the general public. What I find shocking is that even after the trial, a journalism major does not have the integrity to perform some simple fact checks before publishing an article.

I am not sure what our journalism schools are teaching but fairness and objectivity has taken a back seat to sensationalism.

— Vikram Saxena,
Santa Clara, Calif.

In response to the March 19 article “Student leaders fear funding for gun storage could come from tuition”

This story misses the whole point. Senate Bill 1474 won’t cost the university system $13 million. The Arizona Board of Regents will cost the system that much in its determination to further regulate gun control. These lockers aren’t necessary — they are a loophole, because ABOR can only restrict guns inside buildings if they exist. Suggesting the legislation will cost millions is a complete misrepresentation of the bill designed to scare people into voting against it.

— Ashley McNelly,
physiology senior


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