This letter was sent by seniors Avik Jain and Ankita Mitra as a response to this article.
All the students quoted in the article felt that the article misrepresented the incident and their perspectives on it. Multiple significant inaccuracies and misleading statements in the article indicate that El Estoque initially failed to present the incident in a completely factual, objective manner. The article seemed to dramatize aspects of the incident and present viewpoints sensationally in a way that those quoted see as misleading.
Some quotes are used out of context and present extremely misleading implications. In particular, sources were asked about their views on affirmative action policies in general. In the article, it seemed as if some of these statements were made with regard to specific admissions decisions or a specific school’s policies when they were not.
Avik’s statements about the message of the meme do not reflect his personal beliefs regarding the reported college decisions, and he was not, in any way, involved in the creation of the meme. The fact that Avik was the only named male source also led some readers to incorrectly associate Avik with statements that were made about the students who posted the meme and commented on it.
The overall tone and organization of the article may make it seem as if there is hostility between the interviewed sources. The people mentioned have always had, and still have, a friendly relationship. Based on how we viewed the story, as well as responses from numerous seemingly misinformed readers, we felt that it was necessary to clarify the article with our own perspectives.