Date Posted: September 21, 2011
Print Edition: September 14, 2011
It is certainly to be expected that the editors of The Cascade receive comments and complaints about articles in past editions. As a student-run newspaper, we in part should reflect our student body, and therefore if a student is dissatisfied (or otherwise) it is necessary to have these views recognized. Of course, critique will be most common in areas of greater controversy; Violet Hart’s running column ‘Discussions Below the Belt’ would naturally receive more of a reaction than others.
As young adults, university students are aware of sex, enough so that it is a part of our daily lives. Violet Hart’s column is candid, engaging, and often humourous. There are students in the school who’ll admit to only reading Ms. Hart’s column when picking up The Cascade. Her column relates to many within the student body, as elements of sex – be it issues with safety, technique, and so on – is a common topic among us, after all. On the other hand, readers have also expressed the opinion that they find the articles published bordering upon inappropriate, substance of which does not belong in a school newspaper. Suggestions of censoring certain pieces have been made, due to the embarrassing nature of the column to some.
However, as students, we must avoid words such as censorship. As young men and women making the transition into the adult society, we shouldn’t rely on our parents’ version of decency. We are a generation that will define ourselves. We deserve the right to run a paper the way we choose, to push the lines of society, to create a new standard for our generation – and we deserve to be able to read columns like Violet Hart’s, even if they are indecent, unusual, or too outspoken for some. As a student body we should be determining ourselves, what we are going to be as a new generation unique from others before us.
We should also understand that as consumer-figures at our university, we need to control the direction UFV takes. Do we want our school to remain as conservative as the community it dwells in? Our actions and desires affect the potential decisions and conduct of our school. Do we want censorship or restraint at our own school?
Our newspaper should not be conforming. Students should bring unconventional (and perhaps inappropriate) opinions forward to people who have dropped previous judgments and standards as to what is, in fact, appropriate. As students, we should be accepted into an open atmosphere that appreciates such courage and forward thinking. University is a time for testing the waters, after all.
However, it is essential we make our own reactions and opinions known. If it remains offensive, if we disagree, we should speak out. As our student society develops and integrates into the community, we may find we are not going in that direction. Speak out to change it, to modify, check, encourage or impel. Complaints and disagreements are not only acceptable, but welcomed and responded to – part of the conversation. But as university students we need to be the ones pushing forward with open minds to the pulse of society, be that the down and dirty, blunt facts of a young adult’s life, or perhaps something else entirely.
We seem to be stuck in this together as a generation. As such, accommodating, tolerating and communicating is entirely necessary. If that means using personal discretion by not reading a column, then so be it. If it means directing critique towards the editors, that is entirely welcome. We have yet to establish ourselves and our principles, and that process will call for argument and reasoning with one another.