The importance of the editorial

Opinions are important; they are so important that there are entire sections of every newspaper and online publication devoted to them.

The Baker Orange voices pages have housed the words and opinions of our staff for 123 years. These matter— each of the articles written express thoughts and feelings about issues pertinent to this student body.

Perhaps one of the most powerful elements of the voices section is the editorial. Merriam-Webster defines an editorial as “a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers.” The editorial gives a newspaper staff the opportunity to express to their readers an opinion they share and feel is important to bring to their community’s attention.

What makes the editorial so powerful is the united voice it represents. Members of the editorial board must agree on the opinion they are choosing to state and defend. The idea is to come together as an organization and journalistic entity to provide readers an important thought or opinion.

Throughout the history of The Baker Orange there have been lots of editorial opinions published, and this editorial board is particularly proud of the editorials we have created including this one you are reading right now.

Without the print issue each month to showcase the editorial, we want to ensure we still emphasize the importance of this piece of writing as we move to the online-only version of the paper.

The editorial is the voice of the students, it is an opportunity for Baker’s student reporters to bring certain issues to the attention of the University, student body and our community.

Over the past school year we have covered conflicting messages regarding sexual misconduct, a vague active shooter plan, lack of student participation, student reactions to The Day of Giving and more. We are proud to say that all of the editorials mentioned above have created real change and sparked discussion on our campus.

This fall the University brought comedian Arvin Mitchell to campus for Wildcat Welcome. Mitchell made crude comments about sexual abuse and referenced a “Family Guy” character who is known for sexual misconduct.

The irony of Mitchell’s performance was that only days before students in Greek Life and athletics had received a presentation on rape culture. Coordinator of Inclusion and Wellness Education Paul Ladipo gave the presentation  and referenced the same “Family Guy” character and how that character represents rape culture. As a paper we brought attention to the blatant contradiction.

To prepare for the, coming fall semesters sexual misconduct presentations, the Office of Student Life and the Athletic Department are collaborating to understand what students want out of these presentations. By reaching out to student leaders on teams and in houses, the University will be able to understand what students feel like they need from these presentations.

When the active shooter plan editorial was released, there were no clear guidelines on what students where to do in the event of an active shooter on Baker’s campus. Now, there are videos to be released in the coming weeks produced by the University and Student Senate outlining not only what to do in the event of an active shooter, but also what to do in a fire or tornado emergency situation.

The Day of Giving editorial not only prompted support from students, but The Orange also received a letter to the editor from the fundraisers coordinator Rachel Shuck that you can find at the bottom of this page. Staff members were stopped on campus by professors asking questions, “Are they really asking students to donate?” We represented a widely shared opinion that students did not have the platform to share.

The point to all these examples: these words are not hollow. While we may think our voice does not matter, this section proves that it does. Even after the print issue is gone, we all hope that you as readers will continue to read the editorial, but to also approach someone on staff about a campus issue you are concerned about to ensure you are heard.