Katherine Pecora, Managing Editor
To my professors and classmates, I have to apologize for the insensitive and offensive material published on the back page of our last issue. I have had professors and classmates alike confront me about why this was put into a paper who’s goal it is to contribute to the building of a strong community.
There is such thing as pushing the envelope when it comes to journalism but, the line is drawn when the material is racist, sexist or offensive. In a country currently suffering from an opioid epidemic this “joke” is far from that. It disregards the real suffering that people are going through and painting it as a “joke” perpetuates a brutal stereotype.
I have been called sensitive I have told I’m making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be but I argue that if we don’t do this to these so called “jokes” the stereotypes will continue and will not be broken. Don’t be afraid to be the person that takes issue with something. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and it may be hard but, knowing that you stood up for what you believe in is gratifying feeling.
This is not what Saint Martin’s University stands for. As a Benedictine institution we are asked, “To work toward a just order in our immediate environment and in the larger society.” We believe in a sense of community and opening our arms to people from all spheres of the world, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different races and different sexual orientation. “To offer warmth, acceptance and joy in welcoming others.” This is what we should be doing in a school paper. This institution deserves writing that pushes the billet but also addresses real issues that our school faces such as sexism, racism and intolerance.
Changing issues such as this takes an awareness of our own privilege and prejudice. We all have them. The solution is learning to challenge them, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before we go back to our own and see the challenges those around us may face. Another component is being able to admit when we are wrong and work to learn from it. This is what a college education is meant to do. We are meant to push our understanding. It will be uncomfortable, it will probably hurt but it will make you a better human being.
I am able to articulate on issues such as this thanks to the classes I have taken here at SMU. Thanks to professors such as Dr. Sapra, Professor Keri Graham and Dr. Walker. They have pushed me to think outside of my norm and to question why I think what I think. So, take a class that is out of your norm. We owe it to our classmates whom may be different from us to try to step out of what we know to recognize these issues.
So, as a member of the community of Saint Martins I urge you to push your comfort zone. It is probably going to be tough, it is not going to happen overnight. But, there are people here that will help you.