Student chided on air for AB trip

By: Grant Vance ~Managing Editor~

Photos courtesy of (left) and (right) | 700 WLW’s Eddie and Tracy (left) criticized Katherine Plucinsky (right) for panhandling as part of her Alternative Breaks trip to Washington, D.C.

Xavier student Katherine Plucinsky was met with criticism when she discussed her Alternative Breaks (AB) trip to Washington, D.C., in a March 24 interview on 700 WLW’s Eddie and Tracy show.

After returning from spring break, Plucinsky wrote an opinion piece for the Cincinnati Enquirer describing her experience with Xavier’s AB program. Her trip involved living the lifestyle of a homeless person in D.C. for 48 hours. This experience was meant to help students better understand the lives of disadvantaged people.

Eddie Fingers and Tracy Jones asked Plucinsky to come on their show after reading her editorial in the Enquirer.

“I was going onto (the radio show) expecting I was just going to tell them about it, and then all of a sudden it took a turn, and they said I was misguided,” Plucinsky said. “I was caught off guard.”

Throughout the interview Fingers and Jones repeatedly referred to Pucinsky as “young lady,” questioned her decision to participate in the trip and asked if she planned to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.).

Fingers and Jones criticized Xavier for endorsing a trip where students spend time panhandling. They also questioned Plucinsky’s parents’ judgment and asked to speak to her mother on the air.

“They were saying (my mother) needs to set me straight and be a parent,” Plucinsky said. “They totally tore my mom apart, which wasn’t cool.”

Eddie and Tracy’s method of interviewing allows callers to weigh in after the interviewee is off the line.

“They were saying all this stuff about me, but I couldn’t defend myself because I wasn’t on the line,” Plucinsky said.

Of the two callers that offered opinions, one defended Plucinsky, reprimanding Fingers and Jones for their “degrading” words. The other caller praised them for criticizing the perspective of Plucinsky and other “social justice warriors.”

“It kind of sucks because the whole point of getting the article out there was so people could look at the situation just a little bit differently,” Plucinsky said. “They didn’t even give me the chance to talk about my experience.”

Despite the outcome of the interview, Plucinsky remains optimistic.

“It was a good experience being on Eddie and Tracy because it’s important to know people aren’t always going to see eyeto- eye with you,” Plucinsky said. “AB gave me a trip of a lifetime, and at the end of the day, nothing anyone says can take away my experience.”

700 WLW did not reply to several requests for comment.

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