The four-letter word that rocked campus


Editorial Board

In our November issue of the Crusader newspaper, a story titled “Parking permits cause dilemma on SCCC campus” was published that included an obscenity not normally used in news writing. As was expected, the word struck a chord in several members of our community and you were quick to voice your opinion over the word’s inclusion in the piece.

After the story was first submitted for editing, an editorial board consisting of the two Co-Editors and the News Editor discussed the quote and tried to find a solution for running the quote in question. When considering the use of censorship, the board considered three points: what Associated Press style calls for, who is saying the word and what purpose the word serves in the story.

AP style is a common format journalists in the United States use for guidelines, ethics and writing in order to keep news consistent and easy to read. AP Style holds that you should not use obscenities in stories UNLESS they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them. This situation was both a direct quotation and was found by the editorial board to have a compelling purpose.

The quote in question was said by a student expressing her concerns over a policy that leaves students and staff at risk of fines due to new rules implemented in the current school year. The quote was short but blunt and served to the editorial board as a reminder that the student population is not happy with the rule set. It was decided among us that the most important factor in our decision was giving the student perspective in a way that is raw and true to what was being expressed.

As such, a 2-1 vote was cast in favor of leaving the quotation as is without any censorship.

Everyone who reads the article is entitled to their opinions of the story’s content and writing, including the expletive that was quoted. If you consider the word vulgar and unprofessional, you have every right to believe this to be true and stand by your viewpoint. Along with this, we ask that you will consider the viewpoint of other commenters and be respectful to each other.

Thank you to everyone who has read our newspaper this month and to anyone wanting a copy, please check the distribution boxes on campus or read the issue online for free on