May 14, 2008

A Message From Mads

Last night we were faced with the decision of how to cover something serious. We put up some information, and after receiving multiple requests to remove it, we did. At the time, we realized that it wasn't our place to comment on it.

The incident raises some important questions. Was this a private matter, or does the student body have a right to know (after all, it affected everyone in the library at the time)? What is the purpose of this blog? To cover parties and campus events, or perhaps something more serious in need of discussing?

Right now there is a lot of speculation over the incident, and we think that letting it come together through rumor is worse than telling the truth and ending the gossip. Hopefully administration will handle the situation appropriately (whether or not that means a campus-wide email).

We will be updating on this matter, so check back later this afternoon. Please email us at MadsVassar@Gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

-Mads

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really approved of your decision to remove your initial post. And I'm glad to see that you're actively thinking about the role of your blog on campus.

While Mads is clearly popular among freshmen, you are not the self-anointed spreader of Vassar news. You are a forum for anonymous, playful gossip (albeit more tasteful gossip than boredat). But you are not the New York Times or even the Misc. You are certainly not in a position to be announcing serious, personal information. That's the school's job.

Like someone said on the previous post, you are a freshmen blogger. All that you report on is rumors. Stick to posts about parties and midnight breakfasts and the like, and you will continue to be popular. But you would be doing an incredibly disservice to the community to pass yourself off as an actual reporter or an actual expert on anything at all.

Please know that I'm not saying that information should be kept secret, or that blogs have no place in the contemporary media culture. I'm just concerned that people will take what you say to be factually accurate, when you have zero training and zero authority to be passing yourself off as a source of hard news or analysis.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

11.03, word.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe the Administration has yet to send an email. a significant portion of the student body was in the library at the time and was affected by this matter- couldn't they just pass on information along the lines of, "if you're upset, please go to Metcalf..." ?? sending nothing is absolutely irresponsible. what are they waiting for?

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with Mike.

Anonymous said...

Mike nailed it.

Anonymous said...

to agree with the people above me, mike explained perfectly what your role should be. "anonymous, playful gossip." you're welcomed to include stuff about hillary clinton even though that's boring and you'll lose your readers, but the important thing is to stay away from topics that you are, like mike said, not qualified to report on

Anonymous said...

sorry Mike, but in this case you're just wrong. Mads does know facts about this matter, for sure, not just speculations. After an appropriate time has passed and the administration has STILL taken no action for inform the students, many of whom were present at the time of the incident and/or are friends of the person in question, I think it becomes not only your right but your responsibility to tell the students what you know (and I emphasize know)

Anonymous said...

mads, you've really gone down hill in the last month or so. you used to do gossip. now you're trying to be like the cnn of vassar?

newsflash. you're not.

Anonymous said...

11:17 --

newsflash: you're a dick

SPRiNKLES said...

well this whole thing stinks of that awful main incident that happened during the impromptu dance party... Blog9 covered it and Mads, seeing the backlash decided that it wasn't their place to.... apparently they forgot to heed their own advice

also,
mads has become less gossipy in the past semester.

sure, there's a hot mess or two along the way, but lately it's a great info source for campus news.....

Anonymous said...

So the equivalency being made between campus blogs and boredat needs to stop.

Mads and Blog9 are BLOGS done by single or a panel of bloggers.

Boredat was a FORUM, a free-for-all that anyone could post on anything.

We clear? Awesome.

Anonymous said...

but it shouldn't be an info source for campus news. this kid is A FRESHMAN. HE DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING MORE THAN RUMORS.

He's great for funny stuff and youtube videos, but I swear I feel like some of the readers hear are drinking the cool aid and treat his blog like it's a newspaper.

Anonymous said...

1129 - being a freshman doesnt mean anything, for one thing. apparently being an upperclassman, if that is what you are, also doesnt mean much because your grammar blows.

Anonymous said...

if 11:29 is an indication, being an upperclassman means being a self-important tool
-an upperclassman

Anonymous said...

my two cents...

i agree with what you all are saying, but mads started the blog, it's his, and he has a right to do with it what he wants. i mean, i agree that he shouldn't think that he is the only news source for the campus (which I don't think he is trying to think/be at all) but all of this "there isn't any gossip anymore" and "you've gone downhill" is kinda weird... this is his blog and it's his prerogative to do whatever he wants with it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you decide is the right thing to do, Mads, I think you're being very responsible by being so cautious and thoughtful about what your role is on campus.

In my opinion, you are a GREAT resource for campus COMMENTARY (i.e. parties, events, funny things, light forum-type stuff), but I really don't think it would be responsible to pass this blog off as a legitimate source for serious campus news.

In terms of last night's incident, thanks for being so tactful about everything. I personally would like more details as well, and I'm waiting for a response from the administration. To NOT respond to an incident that has garnered so much speculation and concern would be INCREDIBLY irresponsible of them.

Thanks Mads! I look forward to reading more of this blog. Thanks for taking our opinions into account.

Respire said...

12:01 speaks for me

Anonymous said...

I think Mads is a great source for campus news, seeing as the administration never tells us ANYTHING, and when they do it's as unclear as possible. This campus needs a news source, and with the Misc once a week during the semester, and done for the year now, we have nowhere to turn BUT to blogs.

Look at other school blogs, look at Wesleying. (http://wesleying.blogspot.com/) They do investigative reporting about events happening on campus. Why shouldn't Mads?

I agree, reporting is better than speculation.

Anonymous said...

it seems like the vast majority of posters agree that mads should stick to publicizing events, posting youtube links, jokes that sort of stuff. if we want news, we can find our own news. you don't need to link press releases like the science grant thing, or spread rumors about so-called "dramz" with individual students. you were great at what you were doing in the beginning of the year. go back to that.

Anonymous said...

mads needs to mind its own damn business and stop trying to become anything but an amateur freshman blogger. how dare you take yourself so seriously that you think you should have any role of disseminating important information? do you understand that someone was actually hurt? no, you don't. you just want to use the opportunity to increase your hits per day so you can brag about that number in later posts.

Anonymous said...

why is everyone being so rude?

Anonymous said...

1:06 did you even read this post?

julia said...

1:06 clearly you missed the entire point. you sound so absolutely absurd i can't imagine you can even take yourself seriously.
the fact is, hundreds of people read this blog every day. it IS an important source of news/gossip/whatever for this campus, whether it intends to be and whether you want it to be or not. that's just the way it is. of course mads has a right to address this situation. it affects this campus, and mads writes for THIS CAMPUS. the site went down last night for a few minutes because so many people were coming to see if anything was written regarding the incident. If that isn't an indication that - despite being a "freshman" blog or whatever you want to call it - mads is a legitimate source of information for the vassar campus, then I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

everyone chill the fuck out. Its not like anyone died. Someone fell from the third floor to the basement floor of the library. Big fucking deal. Is drunk people hurting themselves really anything new?

Anonymous said...

i think we're all missing the point here.
Whether or not you agree with the choices this Blog made this semester is up to you to decide. If you don't like it, then please discontinue reading and move on with your life.
What IS important however, is that an individual got into a serious accident last night. This was not some random unidentified bystander who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but a member of our community, a fellow classmate and a friend to many. And as I concerned member of this community, I believe there are certain things we have the right to know. Is the student OK? Are safety precautions being taken to prevent such an incident from happening again? I don't believe such questions are that unreasonable to ask and have nothing to do with wanting to be filled in on the latest gossip.
Unfortunately, the administration almost always does a poor job of handling these awful situations, witholding information and treating us like children. If the administration won't talk to us, and the Misc is done for the year, where can we go to voice our concerns, to let it be known to this students that we are here for him and wishing him a speedy recovery?
Mads may not be a "legitimate" news source, but so what? He's not simply stating wild accusations either about about who is and who is not at fault in this situation. He is merely trying to keep the student body informed. And for that I thank you.
Keep up the good work Mads!

Anonymous said...

1:36- with an injury as serious as his, and with the number of people who saw it... yes

Anonymous said...

Tell the story, or don't say anything at all.

A guy fell fifteen feet in the library, hurt himself, and will be fine.

Why must you make everyone wonder if there was some sort of explosion, gunman, or suicide?

All you've done here, is make people who were unaware of the situation start hunting for gossip, or left the aware folk in a state of self righteous vigor.

Anonymous said...

1:44 - If he's "going to be fine", why does JJ's e-mail say he's still in intensive care?

Anonymous said...

listen, if you dont wanna read news concerning people cause they are too "personal", stick to national geographic or the discovery channel. and dont tell other what to write

Anonymous said...

1:44, he fell from the second floor to the basement. That's three stories, so a lot more than 15 feet.

Anonymous said...

A lot of you seem to be operating under the mistaken impression that you should have any kind of say in what Mads posts. It's his blog and he can post what the fuck he wants. If he wants to record every detail about the library thing, he can, and he should. If he wants to ignore it completely, he can, and he should.

This kid has fucking power, man. He speaks directly to a huge portion of the Vassar population every day.

You're lucky he has the good sense to treat that power so responsibly- both concerning this particular incident and in general.

So, you know, props to Mads.

Anonymous said...

If you don't approve of how Mads runs this blog, make your own and try to get as many hits. Otherwise, shut the fuck up. You're a whiny hater. A whiny, whiny hater.

Anonymous said...

1:54, that's two stories, not three, but I see your point

Anonymous said...

how can you fall from the second floor to the basement? Where is there a hole for you to fall that far?

Anonymous said...

who was it? when something happens in a public place on campus, to a member of our community, I think we have a right to know. Now I"m trying to go through all the senior guys I know and make sure they're ok. can't someone say?

Anonymous said...

How the hell do you figure that you have a "right" to know the details of someone else's life?

On the contrary, whoever fell has a "right" to his own damn privacy.

Anonymous said...

I really don't get people complaining that Mads has no right to post serious news. Just like a bunch of people above said, it's his blog, he can say what he wants. But I think there's a bigger issue too. If people think this isn't the place for serious news, then what is? Maybe Vassar needs a source of news that updates whenever serious things happen and reports on the happenings across campus. The Misc is nice, but it doesn't serve that purpose -- it's more of like a week in review. We need something more like cnn or something, just like a news team on campus that handles this kind of thing. Maybe someone should start a news club on campus with an email address that everyone sends major events to and the news team reports on them online. I think that'd be nice.

Anonymous said...

well is the vigil tonight going to be for an anonymous student?

Anonymous said...

1:44 has a good point. I think that the best way to handle this situation and other similar situations is to state the general facts (not necessarily getting into the specifics). This will help to curb rampant rumors/speculation about what could have happened. Since this issue clearly affects the campus at large, and since this blog IS a huge source of news about campus life whether you like it or not, it is not a reasonable request to ask mads to completely overlook something so major that happened on campus and that people will inevitably be hearing either facts or rumors about. In light this, I think it is better to tactfully put out factual information than to allow vague or untrue rumors to spread.

With regard to what mads "should" or "should not" be posting about on his own blog: some people have voiced this opinion, but it is really up to mads what he writes about, and as long as mads is spreading information responsibly (as up to this point he/she has clearly made an effort to do)then if readers don't like it they should simply not read the blog. There also seems to be an incorrect assumption floating around that mads just sits in his dorm room and speculates about gossip without checking any sources - I sincerely doubt that this is his method for gathering campus news/info. Mads has become a helpful and popular source for students to find out what is happening on campus. Mads, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

We don't need to know who the student is, but we have a right to know what happened.

Anonymous said...

My two cents: I think it is ridiculous for anyone to tell Mads what should and should not be put on the blog. Whether or not you consider Mads Vassar to be a legitimate news source, or some stupid gossip site run by a freshman: the administrator of this website has every right to publish any story just as long as it is not libelous, confidential, or the like.

For those of you who are contrasting Mads with big news sources like CNN or the New York Times, just remember that these companies, and most journalistic publications, started small and relied on persevering reporters who sought only true facts about stories that were of interest to the general public. Personally, I commend the devotion that Mads Vassar has displayed in its quest to inform Vassar students about issues relating to their lives. No one has done it yet as effectively or as tastefully as Mads. Kudos to the administrator of this site.

Anonymous said...

You don't have any RIGHT to know what happened. You just want the PRIVILEGE to know what happened. If you should know anything you would already know it.
-R

Anonymous said...

Yes, we have the right to know what's happening. But Mads Vassar, a self-centered freshman, does not have the responsibility to tell us.

I don't like the idea that Mads has no oversight. He's not certified by the vsa. he doesn't work for an org. he's just a kid with a macbook.

Anonymous said...

mads has now devolved into posting about himself. the site is boring. i second everyone else who has said GO BACK TO GOSSIP. I wanna hear about parties. Not this shit. you've lost this reader.

Anonymous said...

I bet your a kid with a macbook too

Anonymous said...

"I don't like the idea that Mads has no oversight. He's not certified by the vsa. he doesn't work for an org. he's just a kid with a macbook."

That is what this new-fangled trend called blogging IS. Um, are you suggesting that we should have no opinion/news sources that are not monitored by precisely the institutions upon which they are reporting? Wait, that sounds familiar...

Anonymous said...

"Mads" is a girl. Stop calling her a man!

Anonymous said...

Well I understand the family's right to privacy, but I also agreed with the two people above who said that 1) people are now very worried that it is someone they know, which causes more panic. and 2) We're asked to attend a vigil for an annonymous person?

Anonymous said...

if it's someone you know, you probably know who it is already.

Anonymous said...

mads claims he gets 1000 hits a day, but notice on his site meter that those are not independent hits. it's very likely that the sam 150-250 loyal followers check repeatedly.

he's not nearly as popular or an influential as some people claim he is.

Anonymous said...

Even if only 200 kids visit the site every day, Mads is still reaching out to nearly 10% of the Vassar population.

Dude. That's influential. That's massively influential.

Anonymous said...

i'd guess it's only 50 kids who just check mads 5-10 times daily

Anonymous said...

that's not true. look at the polls mads does. each person votes more or less once, and they have almost 300 votes.

Anonymous said...

that's not true. i voted 5,000 times.

Anonymous said...

responding to everyone who is saying that all mads reports is gossip (especially 11:29, because you're unnecessarily being a jerk):

In fact, a lot of what mads reports is not gossip. i personally know mads quite well. and i know he take the blog very seriously. Though often there will be a post about something that is not confirmed (and he always points that out) he does not post gossip. especially with things as serious as the incident in the library, mads checks his facts and prints what he knows to be true. you may not always agree with what he chooses to write about, but he never prints lies or hurtful rumors. he may not be an official campus news source, but he certainly knows a lot of campus news, so wy shouldn't he be allowed to report in the respectful manner in which he does simply because he doesn't have a press credential?

Anonymous said...

3:09- how the hell did this become a post about how man y hits mads gets a day? how is that relevant to this discussion? he gets a lot of them. a lot! ok? syop being nitpicky and jealous. i find you annoying and so does everyone else

Anonymous said...

2:41- you suck! thank god mads doesn't have any oversight! he's not printing libel. he's not harming anyone. this is not in any way the place of the vsa. this i not what they do, at all. nor is it really the place of the administration. what he writes does not personally harm anyone, nor does it harm the image of the school (i unfortunately can't say the same about you) so no one has the right to regulate or censor what he writes.

Anonymous said...

So now that he wans to branch out from silly gossip to commentary on things the campus might be interested in, he's self-important?

If he isn't influential then why are there already 55 comments on something that was posted less than 12 hours ago? In fact, if he didn't make this post, his previous posts would have turned into boredat and the rumors would have started to build anyway.

I think it's awesome that he's taking himself seriously and yeah he's not a freshman anymore, he's already turned sophomore and if he keeps this up he could be really legitimate really soon. And whoever says he doesn't have journalistic experience - who do you think writes the misc? Students from that top notch journalism school?

I'm not saying he should become campus news, but even the misc started somewhere and I'd like to see this blog go somewhere. I enjoy the gossip, I enjoy the campus activities and commentary, I enjoy the political entries, and I'd read this blog anyday over the misc.

Anonymous said...

this blog has gotten stupid

Anonymous said...

he's an amateur. he doesn't know what is and isn't important. he comments on trivial nonsense. that's why he's not a decent news source. BUT he's excellent at trivial stuff and should stick to that

Anonymous said...

word to 5:37.

Anonymous said...

At first I was going to post a really negative comment about mads. Then I was going to post a comment about how insane people would be to take anything this ANONYMOUS, FRESHMAN, NON-CERTIFIED source as anything but gossip. Then I realized that such a comment would be hypocritical, since I read this blog every few days. Well no more.

Mads, you've crossed the line. You've tried to be legit, when you are anything but. If you want to be a journalist, work for the college paper or get an internship at Newsday. Actually, do whatever you want, because this is that last time I'll visit your site. Congrats on losing yet another reader.

Anonymous said...

some of us DON'T know if it's a friend because we're abroad

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. Why do you people keep on attacking Mads's journalistic experience? Why would you expect any student at Vassar to have experience with journalism? We don't even have a journalism school, and I personally know the only 14 students who took a journalist writing class first semester.

Anonymous said...

Please stop attacking Mads for no reason whatsoever - take a step back and evaluate the situation; if you don't like this blog or don't think it's a good news source or whatever, that is your prerogative, but there is no need for all of these denigrating comments and attacks on whoever it is that writes Mads.

Anonymous said...

mads, you've clearly struck a nerve. stop posting news items.

Anonymous said...

i love all those people who attack mads for not being a legit source, for not being a journalist. and who do you think you are? a top-notch nyt reporter? no you are just haters who cant even run a blog, or maybe you do but no one happens to read it. and as to the misc, for god's sake my high school had a better newspaper. mads at least doesnt cost vsa money

Anonymous said...

Mads, you've got my support. Post whatever you want. Ignore the self-important snobs who feel like they can bully you into posting whatever they want by saying things like "you've lost another reader." Who cares if you've lost them, it's really not important at all. If you're aiming for most possible hits, there are plenty of non-legit ways of getting that. What's important is you get satisfaction out of blogging, and if these pricks want to make you feel bad about posting things interesting to you, then maybe they ARE better off leaving your readership.

Anonymous said...

why do you people keep attacking the misc or mads? they're both really good in certain ways. shit the f up if you choose to be laid back and not contribute to these campus news sources. at least show some respect to how much time people spend for these blogs and the misc. or stop complaining and try to contribute to them to fix anything you don't like, instead of bashing them anonymously

Anonymous said...

his "readership"? my god, you guys treat this like it's real. this is a freshman blog. it's one kid in a room. this isn't news. why are we analyzing mads as if he should be as professional as the misc or the new york times? he's just one little kid. leave him be. he can do whatever his little heart desires.

Anonymous said...

wait... this isn't real? it doesn't actually exist? damn.

Lea said...

I'd just like to say that I think it's great if you (Mads) post serious news and not just rumors. I think respecting people's privacy is important, and there's obviously always a fine line where privacy concerns start to become relevant. That said, in my opinion you're doing a great job with that so far!

-- Lea (a little upset about the rude comments... keep blogging, Mads!)