Victoria University Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan irate over student mag spoof

Sir Neville Jordan didn't see the funny side of the Salient Q&A.
Sir Neville Jordan didn't see the funny side of the Salient Q&A.

The editors of Victory University's student magazine have been forced to apologise after writing a satirical article about the chancellor which quoted him as being a fan of Cliff Richard.

Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan featured in the "funny news" section of Salient.

The Q & A piece was written as a satire, with the chancellor "saying" his best and worst part of his job was "shaking lots of sweaty hands at graduation ceremonies".

When asked for his "words of wisdom", reality TV star Kylie Jenner was quoted (as his "favourite Kardashian/Jenner) saying, "stop sippin' on the haterade" and "don't listen to what people say because they don't know the truth".

It also asked "Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar", to which the reply was "Cliff Richard".

In a follow-up story in Salient, the magazine said Sir Neville was unhappy about the piece, making it known at a recent Victoria University council meeting, saying it wasn't made clear to him it was a "spoof" and it was "disgusting" and a "travesty".

The offending article.
The offending article.

The editors then sent a private apology letter to Sir Neville.

The magazine reported that it was required to alter the apology to specify they "unreservedly" apologise.

He reportedly also ordered the apology to be published in print and online.

The magazine said Sir Neville noted the published apology in print was "non-negotiable" and the piece was to be removed online.

The humble apology.
The humble apology.

While the article is deleted on the Salient website, it still remains online in a PDF version.

Editors felt "bullied"

Salient editors Emma Hurley, 21, and Jayne Mulligan, 24, said they were "really caught off-guard" and "felt really pressured" by the university chancellor's request for a public apology and for the material to be taken down online.

"We felt really bullied," Ms Mulligan said.

Sir Neville made it clear to the two editors, a public apology was required on the same page where his satirical piece was published.

"He identified certain things he wanted as non-negotiable which is quite terrifying as it begs you to question what happens if we don't," Ms Mulligan said.

They published an apology, however positioned it on the right-hand side of the page.

"We summarised it in the corner of the page, to not cut down student content on the same page," Ms Mulligan said.

The pair, in their first year as Salient editors, didn't expect any backlash from the chancellor.

"We felt the satire piece was a engaging way to meet and learn about him."

The student's reaction to the piece was a mixed bag.

"Some people thought it was obviously satire and funny, some people thought it was the chancellor and thought, wow, he's so funny," Ms Hurley said.

"It's not exactly a damaging reputation to have, in fact it's quite favourable," Ms Mulligan added.

The pair said they would continue with the tongue-in-cheek Q & A page.

This week the satirical spotlight was on Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.

Sir Neville said: "The matter has been dealt with satisfactorily. It is now historical and I have nothing further to add."

- NZ Herald

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