ECSU 'Campus' paper draws criticism for cartoon - WFSB 3 Connecticut

ECSU 'Campus' paper draws criticism for cartoon

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WILLIMANTIC, CT (WFSB) -

A student cartoon featured in the campus newspaper at Eastern Connecticut State University is causing quite a stir.

The controversial artwork got the green light from the paper's editorial board, but it brought backlash by the school's president and some students.

A cartoon printed in the expressions section of ECSU's bi-weekly Campus Lantern features two men talking about not wanting homosexuals at their gym.

Then, the pair is pictured in sexually suggestive poses.

"I was surprised it made it to the paper," said ECSU senior Aurora Schurman. "I thought people had to check that kind of stuff out."

However, Campus Lantern's Editor-In-Chief Ashley Kus said the decision to publish the piece took time and consideration.

She said she believes the true meaning of the artist's work got misconstrued.

"It was a satire, definitely not meant to be that way. It was not at all homophobic," Kus said. "He explained it. He's the artist. He knows exactly what he did, so not left up to interpretation."

The backlash began online; however, it spread to school officials.

"While I will always defend the First Amendment rights of our student newspaper," said ECSU President Elsa Núñez in a statement Wednesday, "I believe this is a teachable moment, a time when the editorial board of the Campus Lantern can consider the negative impact on our campus community of publishing such mindless, hurtful material." 

Kus said the papers have been pulled around campus and on Thursday, students will see a follow-up with an apology that was ordered by the student government association.

Eyewitness News reached out to the cartoonist, who did not return our call or email.

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