My tenure as Opinions Editor is coming to a close, and it has been a great ride. I started one year ago under the excellent mentorship of Tony Scott, and as quick as possible, learned the ropes.
Within two weeks, I had already managed to irritate one of my staff writers. Over the first semester, I lost another writer who had a personal vendetta against the newspaper. I also managed to earn the wrath of Students for Social Justice and received an article entitled “The Myth of Rape” by a writer who thought it would be funny to test the Editorial Board – God willing, he’s going to Hell.
This semester, I have tried – and in my opinion, fairly successfully – to keep the highest standards for my section. I feel the content of the Opinions pages has only gotten better in quality. There are more writers than ever and, in general, all of them are great, cooperative and courageous enough to submit their beliefs to the scrutiny of the entire University. And yes, I may have been off with a headline occasionally – it’s upsetting, since I pride myself on them – but in most cases, I think they are spot on.
Concerning the writing itself, I have been very impressed with “Women’s Weekly.” Our ironically titled column has been under the managerial skills of Jessica Stoll and, this year, Jamie Frank. Though feminists may not be the most beloved social group ever, I think “Women’s Weekly” is necessary, and should be given a chance it more than deserves. Its writers are dedicated to a great cost, and I thank all of Women’s Caucus for their help.
Without a doubt, everyone has an opinion on something. Every day I hear complaints about politics, science, religion, disease, incompetence or any other number of topics. Yet only a couple dozen of the over 4,000 undergraduates have stepped to write a simple 700-word essay on something they care about. Maybe there is just a dearth of opinions on campus that exists nowhere around me. Maybe people feel that just because they are only interested in science that their interests do not merit a spot on these glorious pages. But I wonder if maybe people are just afraid to voice their disgust, whether in an op-ed or a letter to the editor against an op-ed. Because I know for certain that anyone who cites time as a concern is kidding themselves.
If we are afraid to speak our voices, or do not care enough to voice them, then we are giving tacit consent to the way the world runs. And saying the world is fine and dandy as it is just is not right. If you complain verbally, you should be just as able to complain in four small columns. And don’t say you don’t know whom to contact – the masthead on page two and Facebook are the only tools you need.
So to Jamie Frank, Adam Ramey, Rebecca Silk, Andrea Pomaranski, Jeff Klein, Julianne Nigro, Luke Rosiak, Eric Sansky, Antonio Haynes, Josh Meiseles, Lynn Carrier, Shannon Miller, Marquis Harrison, Alyssa Waddill and Jermaine Jackson, I thank you all for stepping up. I especially thank Marc Epstein, Eric Miller and Harrell Kirstein, my most prolific writers. And to my successor, David Cutshall – I know the voice of the paper is in good hands. Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.