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38 Posts

Posted - 2006 February 05 :  00:45:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The discussion of the deletions in the Wikipedia website is reprinted here.

Proposed Deletion

I suggest removing the entirety following section at the end of the History section:

“In 2005, St. John's was marred by scandal when it was revealed that the college had employed C.J. McCue to spy on …. was allegedly attacked by Roosevelt Langley, the Annapolis dining hall supervisor.[10]”

That sort of content does not properly fit into the “history” of an institution, and would be better suited to a “recent gossip” section. All colleges are bound to have internal disputes and legal difficulties, and I am sure you could fill a hundred pages with similar scandals at larger institutions, but you don’t find such prattle under their entries. --Sigao 03:37, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Source citations problems in controversial section

Some edit warring is occurring over this material:

In 2005, St. John's was marred by scandal when it was revealed that the college had employed C.J. McCue to spy on Mark St. John, then the student activities director for the Santa Fe campus, in an effort to find a reason to dismiss him from the college. He sued the college and settled for a year's severance pay.[3]

Students have been complaining about poor treatment by the administration. The college initially refused to conduct an investigation into an alleged rape on the Santa Fe campus.[4] Many students were dismissed from the Annapolis campus after an internal cocaine investigation in which many students claimed that they were falsely accused.[5] There have been complaints about staff attacks on students. Such complaints erupted into student protest when Webster Ye, a senior, was allegedly attacked by Roosevelt Langley, the Annapolis dining hall supervisor.[6]

I happen to think this material as presented is overly long, tendentious, and non-neutral. (As I write this, it's been removed by an un-logged-in user. I am not the one who removed it).

There is, however, a more serious problem with it. Originally the major facts in it were unsourced. Ostensible sources have now been given:

1. ^ Mark St. John vs. St. John's College (lawsuit records)
2. ^ Anna Curtis vs. Chad Williams (lawsuit records) widely reported in the Santa Fe New Mexican
3. ^ Students Punished In Drug Probe Web Site Postings Fault St. John's, Daniel de Vise, February 2, 2006; Page AA03
4. ^ internal St. John's College security reports, reports filed by Kathryn Jane Murray, Stephen Jablon, and Mark Ingham

It is my view that the first, second, and fourth of these "source citations" do not even come close to meeting the verifiability policy. There is no way, given only the phrase "lawsuit records," that I can check the material. I do not intend to search the "Santa Fe New Mexican" for the "widely reported rape;" dates and page numbers must be provided, and if the material is available online web links would be helpful. As for "internal St. John's College security reports," words fail me. There is no way at all for me or any Wikipedia reader to verify such a "source."

The only properly sourced fact is the one which appeared in the Washington Post, so I'm restoring that item, and that item alone. I don't know whether I think it's appropriate for the article, but at least it meets the verifiability policy. Dpbsmith (talk) 14:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

* OK, having found the Washington Post source[7], it seemed to me that the previous wording didn't properly represent the Washington Post story, so I've edited it according. Having done so, I must say that this seems to me to be an utterly subtrivial item that does not belong in the article. I'm not going to remove it myself, not until there's been further discussion. But, you know, most of those students apparently weren't even expelled. Students are being suspended for sex, drugs, and alcohol at every college in the world and it's been going on for centuries, and it's not particularly notable when the students say they were being treated unfairly and college officials respond by saying they were treated fairly. I mean, my goodness, this is less important than the dead body found at St. John's a couple of weeks ago... and I don't think even that's important enough for the article. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:22, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh, goodness. It seems a small faction on campus (actually, most of the participants have withdrawn) has a problem with the administration. I would suggest that most students (at least, out here on the Fe campus) haven't heard of any of these problems. We also wonder if they're properly "sourced" here. There is an online forum started all of a sudden this month with all these "issues", equally unsourced/undocumented. Interestingly, the SJC alumni mailing list was made aware of it by one Stephen Jablon, formerly a student at the SF campus. He is supposedly one of the names on the "internal security reports". Words fail me too. I don't think there's even any way for a student here to verify these security reports. I can try to find out, but I don't think it's an appropriate issue. My thoughts is whoever posted this is one of the people involved. Sjcodysseus 18:28, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

No, the verifiability policy is clear that "the burden of evidence lies with the editors who have made an edit or wish an edit to remain." I bent over backwards a bit to find the Washington Post link because I did want something to remain, because removing everything seemed a little bit redolent of whitewashing... And a citation that gave a reporter, date, and page number seemed as if it shouldn't be hard to verify.

A small fraction on campus has a problem with the administration? How very odd. On most campuses it's a substantial fraction. image:ironyalert.gif Dpbsmith (talk) 19:03, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I am glad to see that the unverifiable material was removed, though I did not remove it myself. Dpbsmith, thanks for editing the Washington Post story to present it accurately. That said, it is surprising that students being investigated for drugs and denying the allegations was newsworthy enough to even make the Washington Post, and I agree that it does not belong in the article. Must have been a slow day at the Washington Post. --Sigao 19:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I do not see why this information should be included in the history section. It is certainly not of any great significane as compared to the many number of similar lurid and embarassing events that must have occured in the history of the college. It should certainly be moved from the history section, maybe to current events or better yet to the section which deals with tripe. If anyone were to ask my opinion I would recommend deletion. - A student

If I may pile on: Everything here is either untrue or of no import. The cafeteria worker didn't attack anyone; he apparently grabbed the moron's arm to keep him from stealing a cup (this became a real problem after a while), and the latter, intentionally or not, threw the beverage on the former—and given the ready availability (not to mension sanction from the RAs) of alcohol, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a handful of kids did cocaine. No one else should be, either, no matter what college you're talking about. --zenohockey 03:53, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

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