Mailbag: March 8

As an organization necessitating transparency, ASUA must be held accountable to the student body. However, the spiteful words pouring from the tabloid-like pages of the opinion section often attack students directly, undermining comprehensive efforts to make a positive difference on campus. Instead of focusing comments on actions, ideas and policy, the editorial board often uses the right to free speech to publicly harass individuals.

The students in ASUA work under a great deal of scrutiny and face harsh disparagements by a group of students hidden behind the curtain of a collective editorial board. Just as the entire student body accepts grammatical errors, incorrect identifiers, misquotes and mediocre reporting on a daily basis, perhaps the Daily Wildcat, too, should recognize that the challenges posed to members of ASUA sometimes yield mistakes.

Once referred to as an organization overflowing with “shiny and vapid” representatives, ASUA has continuously demonstrated resilience under pressure. It takes courage to confront loopholes in your organization’s public processes; it takes courage to spend weeks campaigning for a position you feel overwhelming passion for. It takes courage to publicly defend higher education at the capitol, and it takes courage for an ASUA student to read the newspaper every day, knowing the pages may be splashed with slanderous words disgracing their personal ethics or values.

I challenge the Daily Wildcat to show a fraction of the courage displayed by ASUA’s leaders. Named one of the “5 Gutsiest College Papers,” I have yet to see the Daily Wildcat deliver an ounce of gumption or good character through their commentary. As our nation battles bullying, it baffles me to open the paper to hateful and unforgiving accounts of students on our campus, penned by fellow Wildcats. I am convinced that the Daily Wildcat can find a way to produce newsworthy headlines and hold our student government accountable without attaching shameful slurs and affronts to its representatives.

Understanding that emerging journalists are compelled and called to expose truth, and to quote the editorial board, I write this opinion “in the interest of full disclosure, because you know, the Daily Wildcat believes in that.”

— Nicole Pasteur,
public administration graduate student


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