Letter from the Editor: Do not be incompetent


By mattwu

As a tour guide for Union, I used to take pride in assuring anxious parents that their children would be nurtured to grow into intelligent, informed and involved citizens at this school.

I used to believe that our campus flourished in participation and student life, and that the students worked diligently to add something to Union.

I used to buy into the college-student stereotype, almost assuming that Union students were as smart as they were fun.

And most of all, I used to be confident that I belonged to a campus where people cared about the discussion, discourse and unity that floated around the student body.

However, I now find that Union is not anything like that.

The Concordiensis, along with our other publishing partners in The Idol, The Banner and others, continuously lack contribution from our fellow students.

And this is inexcusable. This leads me to only one conclusion — Union students, for the most part, are either complacent or incompetent.

And neither adjective is complementary.

The main source of information about events, students, ideas, discussion, campus news and academics is the Concordiensis and its affiliated publishers.

And before you argue that Yik Yak was a more quality source than those, I dare you to tell that to your next employer.

Therefore, the lack of participation from the student body in writing for the Concordiensis implies, or directly creates, a campus that does not spread ideas or participate in important discussion.

And what is a college without its intellectual vigor and unity?

Now, I am not ignorant enough to state that Union students are dumb.

We have an excellent academic vigor here amongst the wonderful faculty and students.

Yet, it fails when it comes to the most important part of a campus: contributing to the ideas, discussion and discourse of the student body.

Some of you may stop, insulted (and you should be), and refute me.

Perhaps I do not realize that Union students are busy, that some people are not natural writers, that some people contribute through other platforms or that I am blindingly prideful and do not see the discourse occurring all the time.

To these, I have available answers.

I have no doubt in my mind that Union students are busy.

However, the Concordy takes contributions whenever you have time; you can write one article a year, or one article over the course of four years, and that is better than the 90 percent of students who have never written anything (and that is a checked figure).

Moreover, a submission can run as low as 150-200 words. That is about two paragraphs, or less than half a page. You don’t even need to edit it.

Still too busy to write a first-draft-quality paragraph about something?

For many of our sections, we will write the articles, do the interviews and take pictures for you.

So as long as you have something to share, let us know.

Some people claim an article may actually take more than four years at Union because they are apparently “not good at writing”.

But I find this the most egregious excuse out of all of them.

Union is a liberal arts school — one of the highest caliber liberal arts colleges in the nation.

Union makes it a point of emphasis to teach writing to all its students, regardless of major.

Remember the WAC curriculum and classes? Remember freshman preceptorial?

The Concordy, following every mainstream news source, is written at a 10th-grade level.

So, unless you can tell me that you write worse than a 10th grader — which would then make me question how you got into this school, as I would infer that you probably did not submit your SATs or ACTs — there is no excuse.

And even if you are incapable of writing at that level, our professional editors edit all the articles before they go to print. We just need material.

And lastly, I acknowledge that there are many ways of contributing to this school.

However, the college newspaper not only is the oldest form of communication within the school, it is the most comprehensive form of communication at Union.

We release to the campus the most important news events and have influenced many events throughout Union history.

We have highlighted unjust actions by our administration against our students and have openly critiqued many faults in our campus.

Contributors have been published under Google News, have gotten jobs simply with one powerful article and have inspired people like me with mere words.

Now this is a personal request, and perhaps even a plea: please do not fall into complacency or incompetency.

It is a disgrace to Union and a disgrace to me as a student of Union.

If I don’t get any backlash, or even an insult from students as result of this article, I’ll be disappointed.

It will have just proved my point even further.

I know that Union students have the potential to make our campus even more vibrant and intellectually vigorous than it is now.

I challenge every student to write one article for the Concordiensis during their career at Union.

This way, everyone will have contributed and left an idea for future generations, documented in our ancient records.

We have been around since 1877, documenting the changes, growth and maturation of our beloved college.

Now is the time to build on what generations past have left for us, and leave ideas, events and legacies for the generations that will come after.

Be part of Union’s history. Be part of the Concordy.


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