After pictures of Malia Obama’s visit to Brown University circulated on students’ social media pages last week, the college’s student paper issued an apology on behalf of the school and student body.
The pictures were also circulated by various media outlets. One picture, a Snapchat that appears to show 17-year-old Obama in front of a table with cups set up for beer pong, was picked up by the conservative Daily Caller, thus setting off the reporting from other outlets.
The apology alluded to the pressures of the admissions process, saying that Obama didn’t deserve the scrutiny and that students need to reevaluate what they post on social media:
The motivation to take these pictures was obvious: being at a party with the president’s daughter was an exciting, unexpected moment that many of us wanted to share with our friends.
We often do not think about our tweets and Snapchats reaching anyone besides our friends and followers, and certainly not news outlets with wide circulation like Buzzfeed. Many Brown students were surprised and embarrassed to see themselves cited in the articles, as other Brown students posted them on Facebook with disappointed captions that criticized their peers for not simply leaving the 17-year-old alone on her college visit.
Malia did not choose to grow up in the White House, and it is unfair that everything she does at just 17 years old is subject to such harsh scrutiny. While the chances of her selecting Brown have probably decreased since the publication of those articles, if she does ever come back to Brown, hopefully next time we will “have more chill.”
(H/t The Root, Brown Daily Herald)