At the NAACP general body meeting, student members expressed their reactions to the controversy over a recent article printed in The Daily Beacon by guest columnist Michael Kaplan.
Remaining proactive and increasing involvement in student publications is how members plan to avoid future controversies and misunderstandings within the UT community.
"I really think the issue was put to rest. We did get a chance to state our opinion, and I think we were well represented by the letters that were written." said Tiffany Thomas, president of the student chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "It was a very poor choice of words, and I know he didn't mean to offend anybody, but he did."
Thomas feels that everyone has a right to say what they want to say but feels Kaplan could have expressed his opinions in a more tactful manner.
Brandon Long, vice president of the NAACP, encouraged those present at the meeting to become involved in all aspects of student publications including the Volunteer Yearbook, The Daily Beacon and the Phoenix Literary Arts Magazine.
"We really want people to apply because we believe that is a proactive step," Long said. "If you are hardworking, dependable and really believe in what you are doing, just like with any organization, you can progress. That is what we want to encourage people to do."
Long feels that becoming involved in student publications will promote better understanding within the UT community.
"What we're trying to do is get more African-American writers in The Daily Beacon. So hopefully that way we have more people writing columns that will be more of a representation," Thomas said.
Long said the controversy surrounding the Kaplan article will enable African Americans not only to advance themselves and their dialogue but will help others to grow and learn from the whole situation.