In the midst of a national debate on college campuses about offensiveness, inclusion and political correctness, several campus comedy papers across the country have described their recent reluctance to be offensive as a necessary step to remain both funny and relevant. Flagrantly offensive humor, they argue, is no longer what students crave or consider to have comedic value.
The intertwined issues of free speech and a lack of diversity in the newspaper have sparked a contentious debate throughout the campus, and the saga has attracted national attention. Wesleyan's president, provost and vice president for equity and inclusion released a statement that said students have the right to voice their own opinions -- "but there is no right not to be offended ... Censorship diminishes true diversity of thinking." But activists maintain that the issue is one of diversity, not of censorship.