I love to see people disagree. Disagreement starts a discussion, and that is the only way we begin to understand the perspectives of those around us. This is why I am thrilled to see the participation of students and staff on campus with the newspaper.
I put many hours into the opinion section, as do the other staff writers. Any amount of feedback I recieve, good or bad, shows me that people are reading. I use this as my primary motivation to make my contribution to each issue better than my last. You have to take the criticism along with the praise.
Free speech needs to be excercised and opinions and ideas need to be scrutinized, thoughtfully considered and challenged by those who disagree. Every person on this campus is entitled to his or her opinion. This newspaper, and particularly the opinion section, is here to facilitate a dialogue. This is why I will not silence the voice of any student or staff writer who has a sincere opinion to share that fits the criteria to be printed.
You will see things printed in this section that you might disagree with. You will see opinions that might clash with your own. This is how it is supposed to be. If you feel inclined, you can write a letter addressing your disagreement.
However, if you choose to criticize or demonize this publication for giving students a platform for their opinion, you better have substantial reasons for doing so. Choosing to take away the opportunity for another student to express his or her opinion is a disservice to everyone who reads the newspaper. If you refuse to hear anything but what you agree with then you end any chance of a beneficial exchange of words.
Due to recent negative feedback, I’d like to write a few words.
Anything printed in this section is solely the opinion of the author, whether it’s a letter or an article. Sometimes, even I don’t agree with everything printed here.
People will take your opinion more seriously if you can back it up with something objective. In the letter “Smoking shouldn’t be in the newspaper,” Josh Sorenson expresses a lot of opinions, which I appreciate, but fails to lend any argument as to why his opinions have merit. Validating your opinion by showing a real knowledge of the issue at hand is essential. Demonstrate that you have done your research. Josh could have read the “Utah Indoor Clean Air Act” and had a few of his concerns about vapes resolved. Your argument is strengthened by careful word choice, not by emotional appeals and name calling.
When we engage other students in discussion about their opinions, it will only be beneficial if we make it. I hope we can all continue learn from eachother. Just because someone expresses a sincere opinion one day doesn’t mean they are incapable of changing their perspective when new information is brought to their attention. Let’s prepare ourselves to learn from eachother.