By Doryann Barnhardt
I agreed with your editorial about the increase in nursing standards. Perhaps an English major like me doesn’t have much need for “Math for Literature,” but being able to administer medications safely and effectively to patients is of paramount importance to a nursing professional. People’s lives are at stake. In my opinion, requiring nursing students to earn a 90 percent on a “Math for Meds” test is a no-brainer. I am guessing the math they have to do isn’t exactly abstract algebra.
As with ANY major – nursing, English, media arts, environmental science – some students can meet the program’s expectations and some can’t. The increase in the nursing standards is only going to help identify those who can rise to the standards and those who cannot.
I can understand why some of the nursing students are unhappy with your coverage, but I don’t think that their reactions to your coverage makes you negative. Objectivity is nearly impossible for people directly involved in a situation, regardless of how self-aware they think they are.
In my opinion, it is not so much the stories The Whetstone chooses to cover or your editorials that have earned the newspaper its “negative” reputation. It’s really much simpler than that. As with all news stories, many people don’t read more than a paragraph past the nut graph. But they all read the headlines.
Take, for example, this headline in the January edition of the Whetstone where the above-mentioned editorial appeared: “Basement dwellers moved to upper floors in residence halls”. Really? “Basement-dweller” is a term with a very negative connotation; it implies a shiftless person who mooches off other people and contributes little to society. A human slug. And you just used it to describe your classmates.
Through the years, there have been many headlines that I have read and thought, “Wow! This article is going to be so negative!” before I even got to the lead.
I think you all do a great job with the paper. The Whetstone is very good at representing and interpreting what happens on campus and reporting those facts to the students. But my advice would be to put more thought into the nuance of the language you use – especially in your headlines. Headlines are what readers see first and at times your headlines imply a negativity that just doesn’t exist in the articles they introduce.