Nov 122007
 
Authors: Heidi Reitmeier

CSU students read the Collegian primarily for RamTalk and Sudoku, a group of about 20 students said Monday during a Community Issues Forum.

The session, hosted by the CSU Center for Public Deliberation, was themed around the paper and asked students to provide input about international coverage, local coverage, the opinion page and a Sept. 21 staff editorial that read “Taser this . F*** Bush.”

The public forum was held to “spark community action to take on problems that affect our community,” said Martin Carcasson, director of the Center for Public Deliberation.

“We chose the topics based on the topics of the Collegian, and our goal is to give the Collegian a broad report of what they could improve upon,” said Stacy Pilgram, a senior speech communication major.

The recurring challenge brought up in the deliberation was a general feeling of apathy among students. Because of this, some students said, the paper is mostly used as a distraction during classes or as a time-killer between classes.

Specifics about the role of a college newspaper dealt with what the Collegian should cover more and which topics should be covered less.

Many participants agreed the Collegian covers Greek life more than necessary and coverage on sports, including club sports, should have more prominence.

Students also expressed the value of establishing a community not only in the CSU campus, but also in Fort Collins. A specific deliberation was about the lack of coverage of minority communities.

“Stories about other ethnic communities need to be as politically correct as possible,” said Jessa Williams, a senior speech communication major.

Most students at the forum agreed that opinion/editorial pages are vital to a campus newspaper and to the campus community.

Participants also talked about the September editorial and the fallout for which they say the Editorial Board wasn’t ready.

Other groups at the forum discussed pathways to peace, alcohol abuse, improving the student-neighborhood relationships, problems concerning energy consumption, poverty in Fort Collins and health care reform in Colorado.

More information and reports on each of the topics can be found on the Center for Public Deliberation’s Web site www.cpd.colostate.edu. The next public forum will be held on April 21.

Staff writer Heidi Reitmeier can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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