SGA story: seeking truth, aim for fair play

Alex Dooley, Editor-In-Chief

The story “SGA election collapse sparks campus-wide sexual misconduct conversation” has received multiple responses that express concern and frustration surrounding the content of the article after its publication. As the editor-in-chief for the past two years, my responsibilities include addressing these concerns. The editors and reporters at The Saint Anselm Crier take such concerns seriously, while also upholding the journalistic integrity and values that are practiced by the student newspaper every day.

The article was published on on March 31 after the issue in question was brought to the attention of The Crier staff. As the student newspaper, we are tasked with the responsibility of providing credible, unbiased and fair accounts of news about and for our students and others in our college community. Such news is both on and off campus.

While we do encourage any and all students and faculty to submit articles for publication in the Opinion section of the paper, these values of unbiased reporting must be followed within News stories of The Crier.

Likewise, issues of sexual misconduct are not to be taken lightly. The fact of the matter is, 13% of all students in graduate and undergraduate programs experience rape or sexual assault. An estimated 80% of female student victims age 18-24 do not report cases of sexual assault to law enforcement, and sexual violence is more prevalent on college campuses than almost any other crime according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). While some groups report different figures, The Crier acknowledges these as findings that most students find credible.

The Saint Anselm Crier does not promote, condone or tolerate any instances of sexual assault or violence in any form whatsoever.

In regard to the article at hand, this was a collaboration between three writers who worked diligently to provide fair and equal opportunities for all to express their thoughts on the issue. This article was not meant to offend, discredit or refute any individual involved, and simply aimed to inform the larger community of the situation. When allegations come to light that derail the election of Student Government Association (SGA) candidates, the student newspaper of the college has an obligation to cover and inform the student body.

As indicated in the article, resources for any student who has experienced any sort of sexual violence or assault are provided in an effort to support victims or witnesses in coming forward about any sort of instance regarding such violent, exploitive, manipulative and intrusive actions. With that said, however, there is no room for journalists to assume or draw conclusions without specific and concrete evidence in situations such as the one in the March 31 story.

Associate Dean of Student Community Standards and Title IX Coordinator Andrew Litz explained in the article that a Title IX investigation can only proceed once a formal written complaint, signed by a complainant, is received by the Title IX Office. These reports can be written, or submitted online under the Dean of Students/Title IX page on

We trust the college administration to conduct an investigation into these allegations, as it is their responsibility to the students. And while we are unable to publish anything surrounding this particular case due to confidentiality reasons, every effort was made to give individuals the opportunity to speak on both sides.

We realize that this has created some controversy due to the inclusion of a statement made by the individual against whom allegations were made and circulated on social media. However, the right to fair and just treatment during investigations of any offense are the inherent values in the American justice system. The U.S. has functioned on these values and procedures for generations, and they must be upheld even within our small college community.

Maintaining principles of fair play and the right to reply to accusers are values that neither dismiss the experience of victims nor discredit their stories. Following such standards, as did the March 31 story, expresses no opinion from The Crier on the truth or falsity of the allegations or their rebuttal. The inclusion of this quote allows for any reader to form an opinion based on the words of a direct source, rather than the voices of our reporters.

The intention behind the article in question was and remains not only to present this instance and educate the campus community with unbiased reporting, but to shed light on the larger issue of sexual misconduct and prompt discussions leading to a better, safer and more respectful campus environment.

As editor-in-chief, I already have engaged in two productive discussions with students concerned with the implications of this article, and my genuine hope is that no individual feels their voice is unheard or underrepresented. If students do feel that way, however, send us a letter. Write a column. Talk to an editor about other options. The paper we produce is not only for you, it is yours.

This issue calls for not just one, but all members of the Saint Anselm College community to recognize, discuss and address this issue. Not only are we tasked with upholding the values of our community, we are tasked with ensuring the safety of our students and friends in an environment of mutual respect.


Alexander Dooley ’21


If you would like to submit an opinion article for publication in The Saint Anselm Crier, please send your articles to [email protected]!