Mark Tatge tried to make his Investigative Reporting Techniques class more interesting to DePauw students last week by handing out a 17-page public-records packet on the arrest of one of their peers.
The material on sophomore Alison Stephens included her police incident report, her Facebook and Twitter profiles, court proceedings and other material. (She was arrested in January for public intoxication, minor in consumption, resisting law enforcement and criminal mischief.)
A few of Stephens’ friends are in the journalism class and, of course, told her about the packet.
“I feel embarrassed,” she tells The DePauw. “I felt really uncomfortable walking around … I don’t think it reflects the person I am, so I was hurt.” She called her parents, who contacted DePauw’s vice president for student life, who says the school seeks to protect Tatge’s academic freedom while ensuring the welfare of students.
Good job, Stephens! Because now, instead of the one class knowing, the entire world knows. You’ve just learned a lesson on unintended consequences … it’s probably all you’ll learn in college anyway.