Editorial: Taking a stand on controversial issues

There are multiple times a week when we at The Bucknellian feel extremely frustrated. Yes, the faulty printer in the newsroom and the constant flooding in the basement of Roberts are terribly annoying. But nothing is more exasperating than a lack of response on the part of University organizations, certain administrative bodies and particularly students, when we are looking for different opinions and standpoints regarding issues on campus.

We can have a great story, one that is both timely and relevant to campus life, but without willing interviewees to help give body and life to the article, a good article topic is absolutely nothing. Without the viewpoints of the campus community–students, professors, the administration, Public Safety–it is impossible to report on an issue on campus in a fair and truthful manner. This response problem is two-fold. A lack of response, after we have reached out to particular parties for their thoughts on certain issues, radiates disrespect and indifference. If we have taken the time to reach out to you, at least send us a response. Any response. These negative habits will only come back to haunt guilty parties in the future. Common courtesies such as these can make or break a job interview, for example.

Secondly, this lack of response leaves a gaping hole in our publication. We strive to report in an unbiased way but how can we do so if no one is willing to share his or her views? The ‘small world’ environment that our campus exudes makes it extremely difficult to get a variety of quotations and stances for articles, particularly for more ‘sensitive’ topics. Years working on this publication have shown us that students feel uncomfortable talking about some topics, or even pressured to give doctored quotations or viewpoints for fear of backlash by both the administration and their fellow students. Why should students think twice about speaking their minds? Why would they face alienation by doing so?

There have been a number of times this semester when we have had opportunities to report on important, controversial and fascinating issues. Where we able to? No, because without participation from the campus community, we cannot write lasting stories. Lack of response has crippled The Bucknellian, forcing us to report on more trivial matters than we would like. Where are the determined, forceful and ambitious students that the University admitted? We specifically remember a question on the University’s application for admission that addressed ‘making a change in the world.’ How can we students make a difference if we don’t make our voices heard? Speak up. It’s as simple as making a statement in a newspaper article.

 

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