As students at a small liberal arts college, we sometimes make mountains out of molehills; we grow too big for the pond and try to impress ourselves and one another with puffed-up shows.
So when we heard last week that copies of this publication were stolen from stands around campus and at least one copy was burned, we were understandably frustrated, and certainly offended.
Then we thought that perhaps we were making too big a deal out of the whole situation. Our audience, after all, is perhaps a few hundred people, if we’re lucky. We’re a punchline to students’ jokes every week. And though last week’s theft and destruction may seem like a molehill to many, we’re convinced that it is a big deal, for two reasons:
First, we spend an enormous amount of time producing our publication. That someone set it on fire is disrespect of the first degree and flies in the face of undeniable and sincere dedication to this paper on the part of dozens of students.
Second, the symbolism of stealing the words of the media and burning them (someone burned a newspaper: think about that) terrifies us on more than one level. Some members of our audience apparently did not like what we published, but that does not in any way justify their censoring our message. And that is what these students did: they attempted to censor our message.
This won’t work, of course, and not only because we can print more copies or share our stories online. It won’t work because we’re convinced that most people on this campus, even if they vehemently disagree with or dislike what we publish, will not stand for stealing or burning a publication of any caliber.
We welcome responses to our stories in the form of constructive dialogue. We also look forward to continuing to advocate for uncensored speech and to decrying those who believe a trash can or a lighter will send a constructive message.