Jake Bradner, The Whetstone
In my four years at Wesley College, I have noticed a trend: with every new issue of The Whetstone that is printed, there is always someone who refuses to take us seriously, just because we are students writing for a college newspaper.
Like somehow the fact that students are writing the news makes it less important news.
Some think we sensationalize information to upset students or to create a bad image for the college, which is certainly not true. We just want students to be aware of what’s going on.
After all, they are the ones who pay tuition to be here. They deserve the truth.
As reporters, we do not stretch the truth of our information or try to create bias. We ask questions and investigate thoroughly so that we can report accurately.
Still, time and time again, there are people who insist that The Whetstone should not be taken seriously simply because it’s student-run.
Just a few weeks ago, the progressive liberal YouTube series “The Young Turks” covered Wesley’s Title IX violations, and discussed how the administration dismissed a student for sexual misconduct without conducting a proper investigation.
From beginning to end, commentators Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian eviscerate Wesley’s administration—even going so far as to call them a joke. They said that this incident proves that the college’s administration is overly concerned with PR and not the actual problems students face at this college.
Since its release, the video has received more than 82,000 views, and of the 779 comments posted, most agree that Wesley acted unprofessionally when dealing with the situation.
I personally loved the video because everything they said was absolutely true. As a feminist and an advocate for Title IX, I am appalled by the way Wesley handled the situation, and, frankly, I’m even more appalled that there has yet to be a public apology from the administration on the issue.
The administration needs to thoroughly investigate all of the facts before making a final decision, similar to how The Whetstone thoroughly investigates before printing an article. Not doing so makes the college no better than Joseph McCarthy.
I think what I loved most about the video was that everything they said was everything we’ve reported in the The Whetstone.
On numerous occasions we have reported incidents in which we found some members of the administration to be self-centered or careless when dealing with an urgent situation on campus. The fact that a big outlet like The Young Turks—with over 3 million subscribers on YouTube—was echoing these things was refreshing. It was cool that they critiqued the college the same way we have in the past, and that so many other people agreed in the comments.
To say that The Whetstone can’t be taken seriously simply because it is student-run is not a fair assessment at all.
No, we’re not as big as The New York Times or The Washington Post, but we’re not supposed to be. Each paper is different in their own way.
The New York Times and The Washington Post don’t run corporate fluff pieces in their paper like USA Today, and USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post aren’t as conservative-leaning as The Chicago Tribune or The Wall Street Journal.
At the end of the day, they’re just trying to report the news as accurately as possible—just like we are.
It’s time to take The Whetstone seriously. If you don’t believe the stories that are coming out of the paper, that’s not our fault, it’s yours.