Wesleyan Argus Editors
Wesleyan Student Assembly Officers
University President Michael Roth
It seems as though Wesleyan is failing to educate its students regarding the concept of “Op-Ed” articles. Per a Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of an Opposite-the-Editorial-Page article is “an essay in a newspaper or magazine that gives the opinion of the writer and that is written by someone who is not employed by the newspaper or magazine.” In other words, a possibly dissenting or even offensive opinion with which the publication itself does not necessarily agree. A publishing entity prints such articles to promote free speech and the informed exchange of ideas. Space is allowed for opinions the editors and publisher likely do not hold, the greater goal being the fostering of communication and discussion amongst the community the publication serves.
Diminishing an overall campus publication that possesses the ability to reach all members of that campus society in order to reallocate funding to numerous separate “smaller campus publications” is a misguided (not to mention short-sighted) effort at diversity.
Rather, the variety of other voices at Wesleyan should be allocated space in the Argus. The kaleidoscope of communities that exist at this college each deserve representation and exposure via a central publication. They deserve access to a larger audience that might not otherwise bother to pick up their particular publication, or go to their web site. (“Argus,” after all, refers to a Greek mythological being possessing at least a hundred eyes, of which no less than several were always open at any given time.)
Fostering a bunch of separate publications that each speak only to a specific audience only increases the fragmentation of communication engendered by Internet news, the echo chamber where it is all too easy to receive only the messages one finds agreeable.
Wesleyan, of all colleges, ought not to be encouraging narrow thinking. You may find attitudes expressed by some other person or group appalling, but just imagine how valuable knowing their opinions first-hand could be? You might be able to understand them better; perhaps you might even be able to change their minds!
Roberts is a member of the Class of 1989.