Discourse / Letters / February 17, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Response to Thoughts from the Embers

“”Our question to the students is this: why? Do you not care that the President of our college overstepped conversation with you in making a major decision about campus life? Do none of you text while driving, therefore the state law already doesn’t apply to you? Is everyone in favor of the moratorium against Greek social events until our dean feels like allowing them to happen again? Can we all agree that banning smoking from the Gizmo patio is a favorable and appropriate decision (though it was voted down by only one vote in senate)?”

You assume that because no one writes into your paper, no one cares. The problem with this line of thinking is you haven’t stopped to ask yourself, could we be doing something that is discouraging students from writing in? I think the answer you would find if you actually asked this question would be illuminating, for my intuition tells me it’s not that students don’t care, it’s that they realize the poor state of TKS as a publication would render their public resistance to the administration lackluster at best.

TKS is a hideous piece of design. The very font utilized by your staff occludes the very possibility of clearly reading any of the content presented by your paper, and this is the least of things.

Your staff makes a tradition out of reporting news that borderline on being a smut rag. No one is interested in the type of news you report and because of that, no one wants to ally their position against the administration’s latest moves with your staff by expressing that position in your paper. You see, had you ever stopped to first wonder if you yourselves weren’t the root of the problem, then you might not be so quick to criticize the student body. And though you do have a regular ad in your paper reading, “please please please submit”, its function, given the context of your current state of content, nullifies any attractiveness it might have. This is just to say when you point a finger at someone else, there are always three fingers pointing back at you. Wise up or quit. The state of Knox collegiate news is suffering under your watch.

Here’s a list of things you could do better: expand and elaborate on the campus safety log, making it a two-page spread each issue, perhaps hiring a creative writing major to embellish the reports, turning it into a more fun-to-read narrative. Or perhaps you could ask John Schlaff to expand the nuances of the log that the security personnel themselves write. Second, since it seems that the Gizmo Quizmo is one of the more popular features and as such represents the one minor success you have managed to bring about, I would recommend expanding it, too. You should make it much longer, harder, and more trivial. To enact both of these changes, you will need to free up space. I recommend that you eliminate half of the sports news; Knox athletics are nothing to write home about, so why spend three to four pages telling us about it? Third, you should fire yourself, and hire me as the new editor-in-chief, because clearly, you have failed.

Eric Ratzel ‘08

Eric Ratzel

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