Letter to the Editor: Publishing personal attacks


By Jeffrey Corbin

I was disappointed to read Brian Karimi’s “Letter From the Editor” in response to Erin Delman’s commentary about bottled water. It was a rather personal attack—calling her writing “demeaning” and “crass”—that repeatedly called Erin out by name.

I believe that there are troubling issues raised by the use of the Concordy—particularly under the Editorial Banner—to level attacks on a particular member of our community.

I strongly support the value of various opinions in the Concordy and on campus. I would welcome Mr. Karimi’s criticism of U-Sustain’s efforts on behalf of reducing bottled water use or of our broader environmental efforts, or even my own similar commentary a week before Erin’s. Criticisms of college policies, campus groups, or particular events are the lifeblood of an active student paper and having multiple perspectives in your pages is worth defending.

However, the Concordy should not be an outlet for one student to publicly attack another student. I can easily imagine that other students, seeing the Concordy Editorial Board’s response to a commentary that some found objectionable, would give pause before they expressed their views.

In closing, I freely acknowledge that I have worked closely with Erin on campus sustainability issues including bottled water. However, I would not have felt the same way had Mr. Karimi’s Letter from the Editor criticized Erin’s viewpoint. It was his focus on Erin herself in his letter that crossed the line.

Jeffrey CorbinDepartment of Biological Sciences


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