Column: Stereotype party no laughing matter

By Meghan O'Kelly

Researching and writing this story was a challenge because race, discrimination and the First Amendment are sensitive topics that easily generate heated conversation. Fact errors would discredit my work and cause people to focus on the small points instead of the larger issue at hand.

I wanted to incorporate the voices of as many perspectives as possible without swaying readers toward one opinion or another. I was careful when talking to the students involved to assure them that I was telling their side of the story and not accusing them of anything wrong or demonizing them.

I knew the story would be controversial, but I was amazed at the amount of conversation the article generated on the Daily Illini’s Web site. As a reporter, it was neither my intention nor my responsibility to resolve these issues, but I am proud that this article brought about discussion that will hopefully move our campus forward in a positive direction.