Date Posted: September 15, 2011
Print Edition: September 14, 2011
Every year we get complaints. Some are insightful, articulate criticisms of The Cascade’s policy and content, and some remind me of stray Youtube comments, hurled indiscriminately our way by people I hope I never meet in person. Par for the course I guess, when running a publication that is considered controversial by some, and not controversial enough by others, yet every year myself and my predecessors have felt the need to explain what The Cascade is, in the hope that a minority of you will stop complaining about what it isn’t.
First of all, The Cascade is not a family newspaper, in the same way that The Dark Knight was not a family movie. There are things within its pages that I would rather my younger siblings not read until they’re older, yet that is not an argument against those things being printed. Our audience here at UFV happen to be (coincidentally) university students, who I would guess are attending the institutions to be exposed to new ideas and perspectives as part of their education. Which ideas those students embrace and which they discard are their own business, and cannot be done for them.
Which leads to, secondly, what The Cascade is. The publication before you is the product of a couple hundred hours of work spread between twenty or so of your fellow students, and, more importantly, is a forum for international, local, and campus issues. Our purpose and our duty is to represent and comment on issues that we believe are relevant to the students of UFV, in an attempt to create dialogue on said topics. We also, of course, review content to ensure that it is not so controversial as to violate the rights of individuals or minorities, but this doesn’t mean we avoid topics or “pull punches” in an attempt to become more palatable.
Therefore, we are not going to “censor” content that certain factions find offensive, unless they can prove to us either A, that the content has little value beyond being controversial, or B, it violates their rights as citizens. If neither of these criteria can be met, then “they” hold just another opinion in a sea of dissenting voices.
For those of you that do find certain aspects of this publication to be offensive, know that I am not unsympathetic to your concerns. I just ask that instead of trying to silence the opinions being expressed in The Cascade, you exercise your right to be an alternative to those opinions. It would be very easy to show the UFV campus that students here hold other perspectives than just those expressed in the student newspaper, profoundly simple to invite debate on issues dismissed as “obvious” within these pages.
Trust me, I’m just waiting for you to write the article.