Western University newspaper apologizes for TA dating guide
The Gazette article 'So you want to date a teaching assistant' has been criticized by the University of Western Ontario's administration and TAs for being sexist and disrespectful.
Western University's daily student newspaper has apologized for publishing a "how-to" guide on dating teaching assistants, which suggests Facebook stalking as a way of getting close to school staff.
"The Gazette worked hard on the publication and our aim was to put out an entertaining issue for first-year students and Western as a whole," the board said. "It's clear that we have failed to do that and, for that, we apologize."
The article, titled "So you want to date a teaching assistant," listed a series of tips for students interested in dating their teaching assistants.
It suggests that students "Facebook stalk" their TA and express their flirtatious side by being "liberal with those top buttons on your blouse or button-up shirt."
The article drew criticism from University staff, including TA's, who deemed it sexist and disrespectful.
The editorial board said Wednesday that the article appeared to promote "excessive drinking, drug use and sexual advances" on TAs.
"The Gazette displayed a lack of judgment regarding issues we have reported on seriously in the past. We regret this mistake, and we look forward to reporting on these issues in a more serious manner in the future," the board said.
As a result of the backlash, the paper said it will not distribute the Frosh issue during the school's orientation week, and will carry out a full retraction. The board said it will also review its editorial practices.
University Students' Council President Matt Helfand also issued a statement on Wednesday, urging the paper's editorial board to launch an investigation through The Gazette Advisory Board.
"We hope that an investigation will serve to reinforce the lessons learned and ensure that, in the future, these topics are dealt with sensitively and with the utmost seriousness," Helfand said.