I’ll take the criticism that we need improvement, as spelling errors and factual slip-ups are simply unacceptable.
The criticism that saddens me, however, is the hostility some people have toward our publication. Our goal is to serve the Union community, but we cannot achieve this goal without support and feedback from our readers.
First, I’ve heard that some people have blacklisted the university due to our publishing of controversial stories, such as those about hazing or pregnancy.
Interestingly enough, these people have claimed that the university does not meet their standards of Christianity because sinful acts have occurred on campus.
It pains me to think people form negative opinions about Union because of the newspaper’s coverage, but I hope I am not alone in finding the reasoning ludicrous.
A close inspection of any university, no matter its religious affiliation, would reveal sin in some form or fashion. I also find it ironic that basic Southern Baptist doctrine teaches the inherent sinfulness of man, yet people interested in attending this Southern Baptist university are astounded when people here (gasp!) sin.
In addition, C&C staff members strive to make sure stories are balanced, particularly when handling a difficult or debatable topic.
Each of these controversial stories shows that Union does not lower its Christian standards when problems arise but approaches these situations with grace and understanding.
Second, many people poke fun or simply alienate the C&C because mistakes do happen. I’ve heard joshing about the paper becoming much longer when we began our corrections box a few issues ago, due to problems found within our pages.
I laughed at the joke – it’s more accurate than I’d like to admit – but people also forget that the newspaper is actually a lab.
Students in certain majors are required to sign up for the class for three semesters in order to graduate, regardless of their interest (or lack thereof) in the newspaper. Other students join with little journalistic training because they want to learn how to write and edit stories.
We at the C&C open our arms wide to anyone interested in contributing, regardless of previous experience.
When some people see problems and don’t notify us, however, I have a difficult time understanding why they criticize the paper so harshly.
If a faculty member has been misquoted, that faculty member should notify us. If an event is occurring that a department would like to see in the paper, someone in that department should tell us.
While staff members work hard to cover as many stories as possible and to catch all the mistakes we see, sometimes things are overlooked.
We’re full-time students, not full-time journalists. Overall, I hope more people will appreciate the transparency found at Union as well as support the students trying to open the doors for discussion.
In addition, I hope more Christians – both on and off campus – realize that no one is perfect, including students at this institution.
Beth Byrd is a senior journalism major.