A year ago, The Lamron enabled online comments on TheLamron.com as one among several efforts in the past few years to raise our standards and resist the stagnant yet seductive mediocrity so common to the college newspaper.
This small opening in the lines of communication resulted in feedback of a magnitude no one expected. It seemed an entire community of Lamron critics and supporters had been waiting for their turn to speak, and students who had never written an article emerged to compose thoughtful, comprehensive and constructive responses that often exceeded the word count of the articles themselves.
As a member of the editorial board, it is incredibly encouraging to see the insightful and engaged contribution of readers, even the nastiest of whom invest a great deal of time and consideration in their comments.
In fact, I am most interested in the sentiments of those most disgusted with this publication. Not only do they present a bold framework for the areas in which we must improve and progress, but with their distaste they also provide the reinforcement of the belief that we as members of the college newspaper are being heard, taken seriously and held to high expectations.
Everyone on staff strives to publish a newspaper that best represents the campus, and the online comments have helped us achieve that goal to some extent. But if we still fail to represent you on your terms, there is more work to be done.
It is here that I will be very daring and suggest that such valiant critics, opponents, even haters of The Lamron take their commitment as our personal watchdogs one step further, by not only addressing but also effecting the changes they want to make.
Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I say, "Be the change you wish to see in The Lamron."
This is an open invitation and challenge to all the talented writers who have thus far limited their voices to anonymous online commentary; an invitation and challenge to bring their wits, intellect and backbone into the paper itself.
If you find our writers to be awash with liberal biases, aim to become the most conservative columnist this paper has ever known. If you find our articles littered with factual and grammatical errors, aim to show us what the editing process really takes. Take a stand in opposition to whatever bothers you most about The Lamron, and put your name and face to it for all to see.
If you are ever offended or angered by discrepancies in these 20 pages, see it as your calling to restore the pride you wish to see in your campus newspaper. Sustain your reactionary efforts in the capacity of online feedback, and then take it one step further: to the proactive realm of leading by example. Your efforts will not go unnoticed. All you have to do is show up.
These opportunities are available. The Lamron has an open membership, which means you can come in on any given Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and by committing to one hour of writing, editing and the like, begin to make the paper what you really want it to be.
Dan Skahen is a senior communication major who wants Rusty and Mari to buck up and write a face-off.