Bias against RAs was evident in article

By Jennie Palluzzi

staff should have caught such a biased statement.,Dear Editor,

As an Emerson student, a print and multimedia journalism major, and a Resident Assistant, I was irritated to see last week’s article, “Know your rights in off campus apartments” start with: “Escaping the clutches of RAs …”

As interesting a lead as it may have been, someone on The Berkeley Beacon staff should have caught such a biased statement. As a reader of The Beacon, I am frustrated to find that its editors and writers do not understand the concept of keeping the news objective.

The story was about students moving off campus, and although sometimes freedom from administrators is reason to leave, it is shocking to see such a biased statement in the first paragraph of a news story.

Resident Assistants, or RAs, do an extraordinary amount of work at Emerson College. We have many responsibilities, including helping students adjust to a new life on a college campus immersed in a city.

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We also make sure students follow the college’s policies and keep those in the Little Building and Piano Row safe. One of the RAs also recently developed a program in which residents of the Little Building could learn about off-campus housing.

This program featured a guest from the office of Off-Campus Student Services and included much of the same information that was in the article.

Students who have encounters with RAs when breaking college policies may feel as though they are escaping our “clutches.”

But our job is like any other-one that we respect and pride in. Students may not always like us, but we are ultimately working to keep them safe, happy and healthy.

To find such a prejudice in the first sentence of an article frustrated me as a journalist and a RA, because the first thing journalism classes teach you is this: know your audience.

The Berkeley Beacon was not thinking of the more than 40 students that are a part of its small-college audience that may have been offended by this article’s seemingly clever lead. I would hope in the future, The Beacon would be more careful to make sure they know who they are writing for and that their news stories should stay objective.

-Jennie Palluzzi

Junior Print and multimedia journalism major