To the Editor,
I find extremely troubling President Dell’Omo’s attack on the journalistic integrity of the students who staff the Rider News, which just last year won nine awards including “General Excellence” and “Investigative Reporting.” Our newspaper is to be applauded for its efforts to make sense of our current administration’s contradictory approaches to Westminster Choir College (WCC).
It is not surprising that Westminster students are highly suspicious of a dean whose words and actions have proven to be contradictory. Despite the fact that Dell’Omo’s recent email to the campus community lauds Dean Marshall Onofrio for being an advocate for WCC, we need to remember that he had pushed hard for Westminster’s students, staff and faculty to believe that it was in their best interests to sell the campus to a Chinese bridge company. All the while, Onofrio negotiated for himself a secret guarantee of continued employment on the Lawrenceville campus whether the Princeton campus was sold to Kaiwen or dissolved altogether. His having done so hardly speaks to his “professionalism” or to his faith in Westminster’s future now that the two campuses are being hastily merged.
While it may have been better if our student editors had included Onofrio’s standard denial in the original story (an error that was corrected in later online editions), their lack of doing so neither undermines the thrust of the story nor gives us any particular reason not to believe what the quoted student said was the tone and tenor of his remarks. It most certainly does not justify Dell’Omo’s cries of “fake news,” which are all too reminiscent of the attacks made on the media by another president. Our hard working student journalists deserve far better.