The Rocky Mountain Collegian has come a long way since printing â€œF*** Bushâ€ on the opinion page a few years ago. But sometimes I feel like we still havenâ€™t learned hard lessons â€œtaught.â€
There is a fine line between being the voice of the public, spreading news and unbiased reporting. Iâ€™m by no means the best writer â€“â€“ 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 â€“â€“ which is probably why I choose to hide in the pages of the opinion section.
While it isnâ€™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 â€“â€“ 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 heâ€™s a good guy. I donâ€™t agree with some of his decisions, but I still respect him â€“â€“ 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 â€“â€“ our very own Governator â€“â€“ is setting up a conspirator-type takeover of the energy world by linking one of the stateâ€™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 â€œWowâ€¦we get all that for $300,000â€ â€“â€“ sounds to me like President Frank got us a damn good deal!
Alas, Iâ€™m not short on memory in recalling that I wrote a pretty judgmental article Feb. 10, titled â€œLetâ€™s take student government to another level,â€ 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 â€œfunkyâ€ things happened as well â€“â€“ 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 â€“â€“ WTF, right?
My qualm is not about pointing fingers so much as asking the question: Canâ€™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. Thereâ€™s a conspiracy I could get on-board.
So Cooper, Babos, now that youâ€™re about to have some spare time on your hands â€“â€“ text or email me and letâ€™s do something new. And Governator Ritter, send me a card or call or something â€“â€“ letâ€™s work on that energy takeover thingy!
Phoenix Mourning-Star is a National Science Foundation Scholar in CSUâ€™s MASBioEnergy Fellowship Program. His column appears Wednesday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.