I want to print your letters

It is my job to make sure that there is strong and consistent understanding between the Daily and all of you.

by Alex Wanna

My first two weeks on the job here at the Daily have been full of excitement, helped mostly by all of your strong and varied letters in response to the recent AFSCME strike on campus. Rather than worrying about having enough to fill my humble little space in the letters to the editor section, I was working to ensure that everything that was sent could see print (a very good feeling for someone in my position). Even as we distance ourselves from that controversy, I hope that you all continue to send us your thoughts about what happens at the University and in these pages to ensure that we are representing you to the fullest.

Also, because this is the first article of the year for me, I would like to let you all know exactly what I am here for. As Readers’ Representative, it is my job to make sure that there is strong and consistent understanding between the Daily and all of you. Therefore, my main e-mail address ([email protected]) has almost limitless possibilities of ways readers can comment. Any questions, comments, problems, grievances or ramblings that you may have pertaining to the Daily’s content are welcome and encouraged; I will do my best to reply to these in a timely fashion with sufficient information. In fact, I will be making an attempt to write a weekly column in the editorials and opinions section simply to answer your questions. So remember, nothing is too short, too odd or too profanity-laced to be of some use to yours truly.

Finally, I’d like to address the issue of bias in the letters to the editor section. As I have already stated, the strike garnered some very strong opinions from many readers. As was noticed by some readers and, admittedly, myself, the letters section tended to represent a supportive view of the strike. I view this observation as fact, and I cannot argue it. However, this was not due to any bias from myself or anyone else at the Daily; to be honest, letter submissions in opposition to the strike were few. There are also often problems with structure, as many of the letter submissions from both sides of the strike were extremely short. While submissions like these are useful as a way to gauge the general position of readers, they are less likely to see print than a letter of a bit longer length. Also, many letters from both sides of the issue were unsigned, and it is policy here at the Daily that we do not print anonymous letters. More than a few letters were turned away because there was no way to contact the author.

These are not meant to be excuses for myself or the letters to the editor section. I include them here because it is my job to ensure that your voice reaches the staff of the Daily and the rest of the readership. The range of people that read this paper is vast, and it contains a myriad of viewpoints that deserve and beg to be known.

If you meet these few standards, I will dedicate myself to providing you an avenue for your viewpoint. This is a promise. Here’s to a great year.

Send letters to [email protected]. Letters should be between 100 and 400 words and must include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Also, it helps if you indicate whether you are a student, staff or faculty member or just a reader.

Alex Wanna is the Readers’ Representative at the Daily. He welcomes comments at [email protected].