Hello … does anybody care?

Jennifer Parsons, Editor in Chief
Jennifer Parsons, Editor in Chief

Although some people on this campus find my “male-bashing” columns a waste of time, others enjoy them, whether it is because they can relate to my ideas or simply because it is a form of entertainment.

Whatever the reaction may be, these columns provoke a response — good and bad — from students. They cause outburst and commotion; they draw anger, laughter and empathy from students.

Sometimes I write columns pertaining to the University’s dining and cable services, high enrollment, the death of a gay man in Wyoming or even controversial issues such as assisted suicide. Although these are pertinent subjects, not much feedback is ever given; but when a gripe about the opposite sex is put into print, all hell breaks loose.

I spend the next week hearing how wrong (or sometimes right) my ideas are. Students whom I have never met have something to say about it and sometimes they have not even read my column — just heard about it. Everyone wants to put his or her 2 cents in. Students ask me where I get off writing what I do.

So, this week I began to contemplate certain issues. I came across many subject matters.

Take Proposition 3 for instance, which I am adamantly against. It is ridiculous to limit citizens’ voting privileges in primary elections to whatever their political affiliation may be. Democrats may only vote for a Democrat, Republicans only for a Republican, and those who decline to state (which I happen to be) are not allowed to vote for presidential candidates at all.

So, I could have attempted to persuade the University of La Verne community to vote “no” on Prop 3.

But I am sure that this idea for a column does not interest this campus. If my column had focused on Prop 3 this week, it would be safe to place bets that nothing would have been said. If these issues do matter, thoughts and feelings are kept well-hidden.

A newspaper should inform, educate and entertain. Attempts to do the latter of those is the only part that seems successful sometimes.

Response to male-bashing columns is highly appreciated. It just causes me to wonder if any other subject matters bring a rise out of people, or if everything goes in one ear and out the other.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the food and telephone services at ULV. Believe it or not, this idea was not drawn out of a hat.

Day after day, left and right, students complain about the same subject I bantered with. After my column, I still do not go through one day without hearing the same complaints.

Does anyone bother to write a letter to the editor expressing their support or opposal to my suggestions? No.

Maybe no one realizes this, but the Campus Times is a platform for the average voice. If someone has something to write, then write it.

Rather than reading my columns and verbally telling me how much is disagreed or agreed with, take some action. Maybe the administration would take some of the student body’s complaints to heart if it were more than just the editor of the Campus Times doing the complaining for everyone.

My hope, having the power of the pen, is to make students think, feel and eventually act. I am one person with strong opinions, but I cannot do it all. I cannot change these problems by myself. I only hope that voicing these thoughts provokes something in someone that makes them want to fix things.

The best reply I ever received from writing a column was when a student two weeks ago told me he had sent a letter to President Morgan complaining of the food service. Now that is doing something about it.

So, if male-bashing is not what I should “waste” my space on, what is? Important, impacting and effecting issues do not seem to get a rise out of anyone.

Maybe every few weeks I should write a male-bashing column just to make sure that the students at ULV are alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic about something-anything.

Jennifer Parsons, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at parsonsj@ulv.edu.

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