Section: Editorial

A case for speaking to the Collegian

In the Collegian office this week we joked that it might be good to have a version of the New York Post’s Page Six, a gossip column where we could print stories we know are true without getting them on the record. We spent a lot of time this week, and this year, tracking down rumors and trying to bring our readers the truth about how this campus is changing. But it’s hard to do this work when organizations make unilateral decisions not to talk to the Collegian

We are never trying to make anyone look bad in the Collegian. We are trying to tell the truth.

When you decline to comment, you’re choosing to limit the exposure of accurate information and denying the community an opportunity to engage in open dialogue. This campus deserves to have an ongoing discussion about the issues that affect it — for example, the role of Greek organizations and changes to some student support organizations.

We’ve been working on several stories this week that could have been strengthened with student input. We were unable to run an important story because no one would speak on the record about it (and one administrator told us he was too busy).

Yet we get the impression that some groups think they don’t need to engage in transparency or inform the community about what’s happening in their organizations as it’s happening. It doesn’t inspire students to be engaged if they read articles about decisions that have already been made. Our community deserves to have an open exchange about how we interact with each other and on what terms.

We know that this reluctance comes, in part, from a sense of mistrust. We know that in the past, the Collegian has made tremendous mistakes. But we’ve made a significant effort to earn back your trust this year through relentless communication, availability and transparency.

Next time you think about declining to comment, we hope you’ll reconsider.

The staff editorial was written this week by  editors-in-chief Bailey Blaker ’18 and Gabrielle Healy ’18 and managing editor Lauren Eller ’18. You can contact them at blakerb@kenyon.edu, healyg@kenyon.edu and ellerl@kenyon.edu, respectively.

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