From my three years on The PHOENIX staff, I’ve had one lesson ingrained in my mind: If you mess up, own it, fix the mistake and apologize.
Last week, we messed up.
A careless sentence in our staff editorial, “Administration must address mistakes to improve sexual assault handling,” implied the university had misfiled multiple sexual assault reports, rather than the singular case we first reported in “The Days After” on Oct. 26.
I stand by the reporting in “The Days After.” Days were spent reporting, writing and editing the two part series that brought to light not only a mistake in the university’s handling of a sexual assault report, but also the overwhelming situation any survivor of sexual assault faces.
I stand by our reporting, but I apologize for the mistake in our staff editorial. There are few issues about which the editorial board of The PHOENIX is more passionate than the sexual assault crisis currently facing our country. An error on any page of the paper — in any story — damages the reputation of The PHOENIX and breaks the trust of our readers. The mistake in that particular editorial is exceptionally disappointing to both myself and my staff.
Readers, I am sorry.
That being said, the fact that the university misplaced even one report — leaving one student in the dark — is a mistake that still demands attention and an apology from Loyola.
A university cannot rely on its past acknowledgments when it is at fault, just as a newspaper cannot rely on its past awards when a mistake is found within its pages. Just as The PHOENIX now has the difficult task of rebuilding our readers’ trust, the university must realize regaining the faith of its students will not be easy and it will not happen quickly.
When you mess up, own it, fix the mistake and apologize. We’re still waiting for that apology, Loyola.