Rights to opinion


author: john loeppky | sports editor

credit: megaphoneWEB

I also refuse to shame the rest of you like an overbearing parent who just learned that their child smoked weed for the first time.

Let’s start here, and I cannot believe I have to say this, you can hate this newspaper with the passion of a thousand fiery suns but the fact that one of you, dear readers, mentioned one of my friends (and secondarily one of my co-workers) in a death threat is where I draw the line. I mean, previously I drew the line at absurd character assassination in comment sections, but the time for a new boundary is apparently upon us and I’d just like to let the wider world know that your actions will not go without answer. To threaten this newspaper with physical violence over a sarcastic article about posters in the education faculty is misguided, irresponsible and – let’s face it – stupid.

Now, I will not name you in this article, to do so would be – frankly – irresponsible, vile, and not above board. I will, however, say that none of our staff will lose sleep at night knowing that the proper members of the University community have been informed of your actions; this is neither threat nor promise, it is fact.

I also refuse to shame the rest of you like an overbearing parent who just learned that their child smoked weed for the first time. Instead, I offer a gentle reminder: the people behind comment sections are real, their feelings are real, their mental health statuses are real, and their pain is real. This does not mean you cannot agree with what you write – to scream freedom of the press and then to deny a readership freedom of expression would be a rather backward policy – but remember that we aren’t some government-funded cyborg of a newspaper; we are students just like you.

Multiple people at this paper have considered resigning over this matter, not because they find what we write to be obscenely inaccurate, but because a mob mentality has developed in our comment section that put their health at risk. I’m sure an old adage about not being able to stand the heat in the kitchen is sure to pop up in the comment section, but let me assure you, even the kindest of newspapers have limits.

We would love to hear your constructive criticism, really we would, but character defamation is not the way to go, my friends. Write a letter that we will more than likely publish, and you will see your name next to those you most despise for all to see. Ah, but that would require you to be more than a keyboard warrior.

I don’t blame you, I blame our culture; it is much easier to scream from the technological mountaintop than it is to acknowledge that real human beings wrote the things you so despise.

So, next time you decide you want to write about how much you hate what we write, can you please just send in a letter that we can reasonably print, or send an email to the respective editor? Word to the wise, it’s much safer than hate mail. Oh, and it gets far more done.

This paper’s slogan used to be the tyrant’s foe, the people’s friend. Let’s keep it that way.


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