Indeed, PAW’s coverage of this embarrassing event seems long on morals and short on justice, suggesting that urgency is leading to a narrowing of perspective in regard to what the editors think readers wish to know.

For example, is a team permitted to field a number of individuals in swimming events if the total number of team members is insufficient to win the match? If not, PAW could have simply mentioned the fact. If so, the issue of punishing the innocent along with the guilty becomes more glaring.

Further, no mention is made of the # or % of team members who were guilty. Isn’t this a fact worth reporting? Perhaps the offenders used diverse online usernames, but IT sleuthing should be able to sort that out, especially in a case where disciplinary action is called for.

The failure to quantify the portion of the team that was guilty leads one to wonder if there were differing opinions about how many were guilty, perhaps based on different judgments about whether specific comments were offensive or not. A matter this serious calls for clear standards and fair implementation, both of which seem to have been lacking.

Punishing the innocent along with the guilty is a very old conundrum. Unlike Princeton, Columbia chose to protect the innocent, following precedent that goes back millennia, even in cases where the guilty outnumber the innocent (Genesis 18:23).

Martin Schell ’74
Klaten, Central Java