Humor magazine under scrutiny

by Saray Gerry | 11/3/97 6:00am

The Jack-O-Lantern student humor magazine will be scrutinized at the meeting of the Committee on Student Organizations on Wednesday, after it printed "Eskimo Pick Up Lines" and a satire of The Dartmouth Review that contained racial slurs in its last issue, Director of Student Activities Linda Kennedy said Friday.

The committee will decide whether any action should be taken against the publication. Several students on COSO said last night that they have discussed the possibility of derecognizing and stopping funding of the publication.

But derecognition is unlikely and would be unprecedented in COSO's recent history, said one three-year student member. COSO generally derecognizes organizations only after they have been inactive.

The editors of the Jack-O-Lantern plan to apologize in a letter to the editor of The Dartmouth later this week. "We feel terrible about it," Jack-O-Lantern President Dan Powell '00 said.

The "Dartmouth Review Dictionary" published in last week's edition, uses the words "faggot" and "spicks" among others. The dictionary was an attempt to satirize the conservative off-campus publication's "subtle racism," Powell said.

"We were trying to show the Review would take words and twist them to represent a racist ideology just in the way that they twist news events to represent the same ideology," he said.

But some students at a meeting Friday to discuss the publication said the language was inappropriate for a college publication. About 20 students attended the meeting.

"There is humor that comes from within a community and humor other people impose upon it," said Marlene Jennings '98, president of the Afro-American Society. "People were not conscious of the impact of some of the humor. Dartmouth is not necessarily ready for that kind of humor."

"It's a COSO publication," said Micaela Diaz '00, before a discussion of concerned students on Friday, "Our student activities fee is paying for the mass publication of this. We're funding these words [and] people have fought for decades so they're not used."