On Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, FEM released an initial statement on our Instagram and Twitter formally withdrawing our endorsement of Matthew Richard for USAC General Representative. We have heard from multiple perspectives since then, and in an effort to be as transparent and compassionate as possible regarding our role in this upsetting situation, we offer this follow-up statement:
FEM Newsmagazine would like to officially reaffirm and elaborate upon our withdrawal of the endorsement. As the campus’s first and only intersectional feminist publication, we strive to make decisions that align with our mission of being a voice for oppressed people and never intend to maliciously defame trusted activists. In representing all oppressed genders and other historically marginalized communities first, our duty lies with them and affirming their lived experiences.
We initially supported the candidate because of his alignment with various causes that are in line with our mission, such as: anti-imperialism, student worker rights, and the demilitarization of campus police. Since then, several folks have brought to our attention that they have experienced gender-based harassment perpetrated by this candidate, and for this reason, we can no longer support him. We trust our sources and affirm that they are people who have long-standing commitments to justice and journalistic integrity.
None of the information presented by those who came forward is new, and we take full responsibility for not conducting proper research before publicly endorsing a candidate. It was our duty as journalists to be as knowledgeable as possible about a candidate, and on that part, we failed our readers and our audience. We apologize to our audience who may or may not have experienced gender-based violence.
In making this statement, we do not endorse any other candidate. Nor do we wish to align our position with any candidate or any group who does not hold our values and may have used our previous statement out of context. Moving forward, FEM plans to implement a more comprehensive approach if we do decide to endorse candidates in the future.
We hold firm in our journalistic decision to protect the anonymity of our sources in the interest of guarding their safety. We will continue to believe and support marginalized people who come forward speaking truth to power.
— FEM Senior Staff 2019-2020