Apr 122011
Authors: Phoenix MourningStar

The Rocky Mountain Collegian has come a long way since printing “F*** Bush” on the opinion page a few years ago. But sometimes I feel like we still haven’t learned hard lessons “taught.”

There is a fine line between being the voice of the public, spreading news and unbiased reporting. I’m by no means the best writer –– just ask Dr. Jen Peel, who has been editing hundreds of drafts of my thesis for the past two years, or the editors of this paper –– which is probably why I choose to hide in the pages of the opinion section.

While it isn’t easy to walk this line, I feel it is the responsibility of the writers as well as the editors and contributors to view our paper for what it is: an award-winning student run, non-profit community service –– a place where good investigative journalism is greatly appreciated and revered.

A place where solid, well-founded opinions and editorials can be offered up. Just as importantly, where students interested in media can practice a long-honored profession and hone their skills in the most public of forums.

Obviously, this is my opinion, but the Collegian should not be a battleground for witch-hunts and bullying and the like. Take for example the string of articles on Associated Students of CSU President Cooper Anderson March 4 through March 9. Did we really need to drown President Anderson this much? I know and have worked with Cooper in the past, and he’s a good guy. I don’t agree with some of his decisions, but I still respect him –– and yes, by the way, the majority of voting students elected him to represent us.

More recent articles written implying the former Gov. Bill Ritter –– our very own Governator –– is setting up a conspirator-type takeover of the energy world by linking one of the state’s top philanthropists (who has given a lot to our university) and his connections with the mover-and-shakers of the policy world? These articles were responded to well by Professor Straayer and former Gov. Ritter, yet all I could think is “Wow…we get all that for $300,000” –– sounds to me like President Frank got us a damn good deal!

Alas, I’m not short on memory in recalling that I wrote a pretty judgmental article Feb. 10, titled “Let’s take student government to another level,” which some took as a roasting of specific people in ASCSU.

Be that as it may, the intention was not to berate or bemoan the failures of our student government , but rather to encourage and inspire engagement of students within and into ASCSU and think outside of the proverbial box. Heck, during my time with ASCSU, some pretty “funky” things happened as well –– like when the president and vice president decided to have their initials painted onto every one of the recycling bins that we purchased with student fees. Yep –– WTF, right?

My qualm is not about pointing fingers so much as asking the question: Can’t we all just work together?

Instead of taking the quick snapshot of what we see on the surface, embed a journalist within ASCSU to work with the student government to procure a better image of student government.

Watching sausage being made is a lot more interesting than it is disgusting. And rather than chasing down the dollar signs, maybe there is a longer-term benefit to helping CSU capitalize on successes and ambitious opportunities for innovation … cultivating a conspiracy of Ram pride and student, faculty, administration unity. There’s a conspiracy I could get on-board.

So Cooper, Babos, now that you’re about to have some spare time on your hands –– text or email me and let’s do something new. And Governator Ritter, send me a card or call or something –– let’s work on that energy takeover thingy!

Phoenix Mourning-Star is a National Science Foundation Scholar in CSU’s MASBioEnergy Fellowship Program. His column appears Wednesday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letter@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:23 pm

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