No one disputes that the brutal slaying of a crocodile on our campus was a repulsive act, but The Miami Hurricane‘s reporting on the subject requires a fair amount of criticism.
Despite the seriousness of the topic, the assertions made by both the newspaper staff and the interviewed students are as ridiculous as they are offensive. For example, the featured reporters apparently thought it was expedient to let our student body know that the killing was not part of a religious sacrifice. It’s hard for me to believe that this idea was seriously entertained by anyone in the first place.
Additionally, they cited the always-reliable Juicy Campus message board in their supposition that FSU students were behind it all. However, a preemptive strike on our crocodile population to demoralize our football players just doesn’t seem to pass muster (wouldn’t it be easier and more symbolic to behead an ibis anyway?).
It’s astounding that these were the possibilities that made it into print, and it makes one wonder what ideas were cut out by the editors. Why not explore the possibility that terrorists, communists, aliens or Democrats were behind the killing? The absurd conjectures found in the article are an affront to journalistic integrity, but they weren’t to be outdone by the student commentary that was also included in the piece.
One student actually said, “I normally don’t think twice about walking around campus at night, but now I’ll be more aware.” Let me get this straight, you didn’t think twice about walking around campus after the assaults on humans were reported, but now that a crocodile has been maimed you’re on high alert?
Following an equally unimpressive line of reasoning, the opinion article took a cheap shot at the UMPD when it implied that the police should’ve been aware of the crime when in took place.
The benefit of hindsight makes assigning blame easy for the newspaper editors, but I fail to see how UMPD is at fault. Police protect people; people don’t congregate in the area in question; therefore, police have no legitimate purpose patrolling that part of campus!