As we close the semester, I would like to take this space to thank those who have contributed to the high level of editorial debate these pages have displayed and encourage an even greater level of interactive discourse as we move forward.
I am proud, but not satisfied – as there is no end to philosophy, no absolute pinnacle of understanding or ideological certitude we can ever reach.
Let me specifically thank my two staff writers, Sean Hughes and Tom Hyde, as their weekly commitment helped form the ethos and identity of the section.
They were the ones who, with a few noted exceptions, participated in the weekly “Great Issue Debate” with myself, and galvanized campus discussion on the central issues of our time. We tackled all components of the political spectrum – from gun control and school vouchers, to the death penalty and war in Iraq.
It is important to note that each issue is not meant to be a specified, weekly segment, but an active, evolving forum. I am encouraged to see people reading the paper and commenting about how right, or more accurately, how wrong someone is, but the next step is to turn that opinion into written philosophy and submit it. I attempt to propose the issues that define our society and our particular place in that society.
These issues will not vanish or diminish. It is through continuous philosophical interaction that people will examine their own positions and biases, and make informed, rather than ignorant decisions.
There is gray in every issue, and the only way we can ever be truly forthright in our advocacy is to be exposed to the points that counteract it and aware of our own inherent fallibility.
It is my pledge to practice absolutely no prejudice in selecting and printing editorial content. I can honestly say that I not only accept opposing viewpoints to mine, but also actively seek out divergent opinion.
As for the content and context of campus editorials, I saw many that were quite provocative, but I would like to see a wider subject range. Frankly, I hear students on campus complaining all the time about every aspect of college existence – this is the forum to vent that frustration or defend the maligned.
As for those who claimed our student government debate was over-extended, I would argue that a vehement check on student government is not only a necessary function, but also an endowed responsibility of a university publication.
Just as local, state, and national press check the local state and national government, so must a university check its governing body. The government derives it power from the people in any citizen-sovereign, democratic institution; it must explain and be held accountable for its actions – or, as in the case of this student government, inaction.
Who knows how much the world will change just between now and when this paper is next published? We could be facing war in Iraq, we could be involved in war in Iraq, or we could even be finished with war in Iraq.
The only certain thing is that we all must be active, knowledgeable and involved. Our idealistic passion is the only thing we will ever really own and the only thing worth perpetually fighting for.