Editors Column: Why I Wish I Wrote for the Maroon-News

While my job remains a fringe effort in the context of the Maroon-News, I’ve been si­lently scaling the hierarchy, extending my unwarranted influence quickly to snatch up the coveted “Editor’s Column.”

Exploiting this opportunity as the groundbreaking foundational piece of my soon-to-be literary success, I briefly basked in the delight of finally seeing my name, as a writer, alongside the masthead.

Quickly though, this personal party that I was hosting came to a halt as I realized that writing the editor’s column did, indeed, involve some sort of writing. Confronted with this revelation, I was forced to redefine myself as an editor, because while my name does pompously appear in the masthead, I never quite grasped the intellectual intricacies and mental masturbation that came with holding a real editorial position. I have never before written an article.

Coming from a school where the newspaper was dictated by some sort of faculty-run despotic regime, my inspiration to write was originally thwarted by my own personal fear of submission. I approached Colgate expecting one of two extremes; the newspaper would either be a conservative cover-up or a bunch of liberals parading around in underwear demanding sovereignty.

While both of these stereotypical myths were quickly debunked, I still continue to waver in my perception of the Maroon-News, a paper to which I am now deeply attached and involved in.

Naturally, upon receiving the offer to write this column for the paper, I began reeling over the possibilities, perusing issues past and polling friends for ideas. Even so, despite my enthusiasm, these efforts yielded poor returns. As assumed, the most popular answer I received for article topic ideas was racial issues on campus.

And while I do realize the significance and notice the very obviously skewed propor­tions between racial majorities and minorities here at Colgate, I think that people sug­gested this as default article topic, as some sort of controversial scapegoat that I could fall back to if I couldn’t think of anything else to write.

Even more alarming were the few colleagues that dared to assure me I shouldn’t be all too worried because no one reads the paper anyway. This answer provided the inspiration for my article, as it directly reflected the apathy and ignorance that seemed to plague the people I polled. Is it true that people aren’t reading the paper? And if so, why aren’t they – we outgrew the childish naïveté that prevented us from caring about (and understanding) a newspaper long ago.

Attending a liberal arts college, I often assume that the newspaper would be equally as liberal, throwing out wild political statements like casual prose. And while we have had our share of campus-wide controversies, it seems that our school newspaper has become an in-depth inventory of campus events.

I do agree that a newspaper’s primary function is to inform, but I don’t think that knowledge necessarily comes from reciting and rereading objective figures and facts. Un­derstanding and embracing the myriad perspectives that paint every college campus is enlightening in itself – so please, enlighten me with your opinion.

While I’m wholly interested in the brown bags past and speakers to come, I think that engaging, if not enraging articles are what fuel a good newspaper. Write to provoke, write to perform, write to express something other than the writing that is already on the wall.

This article is a call to dissidents of all kinds; if you’re unsatisfied with the new dishes at Frank or incensed by the new points policy, write about it!

While we may be past our oversensitive “tweenage” years, college should provide one last venue to vent, allowing us to exert the remainder of our childish frustrations before we’re confronted with the real roadblocks, because who has time to complain when there are bills to pay?

Even if you can (and probably do) eventually make room, this, here, right now, may be one of the last chances that you get to voice your opinion publicly, spewing as much rhetoric fluff as you want with (hopefully minimal) consequences. And, if you’re lucky, someone, somewhere, might just agree with you. While I realize that I can’t start a revolution, we can; write for the Maroon-News.

Contact Mel Grover-Schwartz at [email protected]