Due to the recent controversy that has surrounded ‘The Problem of Reverse Segregation at the U of R,” an article published in the fall 2008 issue of Messenger Magazine, the Messenger family has deemed it appropriate to state our position on the issue.

It is the policy of Messenger Magazine to utilize a pseudonym in any instance when it is requested by the author so as to protect his or her identity, regardless of the content of the article. Pseudonym use is not determined by the nature of a particular issue, but rather by whether or not it has been requested. The use of pseudonyms in past articles has not been an issue until this point.

We allow pseudonyms, first and foremost, because we choose to respect the privacy and personal preferences of authors. We feel that allowing pseudonyms encourages authors to submit personal literature when they might otherwise be nervous to do so, be that because of the content of the article or for any personal reason. An editorial in the Feb. 5 issue of the Campus Times states that ‘the fact that a student felt that they had to go anonymous in order to safely express their opinion speaks ill of the River Campus community,” and, we could not agree more with this. It is because of this potentially hostile campus climate that Messenger allows the usage of pseudonyms.

Our goal is to promote conversation and intellectual discussion. If the article’s opinion had been stated in a truly accepting, diverse campus climate, its authorship would be irrelevant. However, this is obviously not the case. It is because of this that we do not believe that the usage of pseudonyms takes away from the author’s argument or our magazine’s mission statement. In fact, they do quite the opposite. Pseudonyms allow for points of view to be expressed that wouldn’t be otherwise.

That being said, Messenger Magazine does not and will not publish hateful or libelous articles under any circumstances pseudonym or not. A hateful article would simply, and unnecessarily, wound and would only delay, not further any kind of intelligent discussion. Publishing hateful articles would indeed be quite opposed to our mission statement.

The first page of every Messenger issue reads ,’The opinions stated in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Mess Family or the University.” Saying that a statement made in an article illustrates ignorance of a relationship between Messenger and the Minority Stduents’ Association Board, as stated in an opinions article entitled ‘Messenger article misunderstands diversity,” is therefore an invalid statement. The relationship that we have shared and the support we have received from both the Office of Minority Student Affairs and MSAB has been an invaluable one, and to assume that an opinion stated in an article published in Messenger represents our point of view is to overlook our mission statement.

To say that we have lost our way is not only extremely ignorant, but it is also an entirely unfounded claim. It is because we have stayed true to our mission statement that we would be happy to publish response articles penned by any member of the student body.

It would only be accurate to state that Messenger had lost its way if we started exclusively publishing articles we agreed with, in effect, discriminating against articles based on our stance on the issue. However, this is not and will never be the case. Although some members of the student body seem to want us to do this, the Messenger family will never refuse to publish an article simply because we disagree with it. This would truly go against our mission statement.

As the editor-in-chief of Messenger Magazine, I am extremely proud of the fall 2008 issue. The Messenger family worked hard to produce this outstanding issue of our 12-year-old magazine, and I think we did a splendid job.

I encourage students, faculty and staff to read through the entirety of the magazine and to formulate their own opinions about the content instead of letting opinionated literary pieces deter the legitimacy of substantial viewpoints, whether you consider them agreeable or not.

Guerra is a member of
the class of 2010.

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