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Primary Source continues to tweet during self-imposed suspension

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 01:02

 The Primary Source has continued to post tweets on its Twitter page while the print version remains inactive this semester due to a self-imposed suspension.

The suspension was enacted after public outcry in response to the conservative journal’s December 2012 publication of a controversial “Christmas carol.” The piece, entitled “Take Back the Night,” mocked the Take Back the Night event, which seeks to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus.

According to Primary Source Editor-in-Chief Christopher Piraino, anonymous Source alumni are using the Twitter account to share current news, links to blog posts and anything conservative that Source members find interesting and important.

“Our twitter is just to show other Tufts people who follow The Primary Source these conservative articles, see if they’re interested,” Piraino, a junior, said. “It’s just a way to promote people’s ideas and the opposition. There’s no original content from The Primary Source.”

The Source twitter has also been posting about Tufts Community Union Senate initiatives and live-tweeting some of their meetings and questioning the positions of Tufts organizations including Tufts Divest and Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine. But Piraino said that the tweets do not fall under the journal’s self-imposed suspension. He explained that the Source is taking this semester to reevaluate its editorial practices.

“Really what it’s all about and what we’re doing is taking a step back and seeing — we know what we did wrong, we just overlooked something,” he said. “We’re just trying to see what we could do better other than just rereading everything and getting more people.”

The self-imposed suspension was an internal decision, according to Piraino. He said the Source did not receive any notice from the administration other than Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman’s email to the Tufts community after the Source’s last edition.

“I sincerely hope that The Primary Source follows through on its promise to review its editorial practices before publishing another issue,” Tufts Community Union President Wyatt Cadley told the Daily in an email.

Despite the tweets, the Source has not published an issue since December, and its future as a publication depends on the returning staff, Piraino said. He added that the Source hopes to return to printing this fall.

“We just [have] to keep on doing it and not make any more mistakes and try and show everyone we’re not some evil student group, which some people have a vision of The Primary Source as that,” he said. “The fact [is] that we’re just a regular student group, and every four years there’s a different crowd.”

The Source expressed its regret for publishing the carol, which originally appeared in a 1999 issue, in a statement sent to the Daily by email last semester.

Piraino hopes that members of the Tufts community can look beyond the incident in forming their opinions of the Source.

“In terms of the view that Tufts has of The Primary Source, I would hope that it’s not just from this one carol but [that] they read our articles and see what we actually think and see what our viewpoints are, rather than just an aberrant mistake that we made,” Piraino said.


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