If this is your paper, this is your page

Students, faculty, alumni, neighbors, groups, etc.: The Opinions page depends on you.

by Frances Zerr

Just to let you know, whenever I see you reading the Daily, I try to sneak a glance at which page you are reading. I know it sounds weird, maybe a bit creepy, but I just can’t help myself. Usually you are erasing Sudoku numbers or doing the crossword puzzle, but if I catch you actually reading I like to see that it’s the Opinions page. Let me tell you why.

The Opinions page is your page. It is a whole page – twice a week it is two whole pages -that features commentary on issues that affect you. Here news is broken down, built up, and made relevant to your life. Here readers have a chance to communicate with each other and with the Daily.

I encourage every student or member of the University community to take another look at the Opinions page. It should serve as a communication bridge between all of us. It is space for thought provocation, public discussion and reader response. The issues printed here should be issues that you care about – if they aren’t, I need to hear about it.

Our editorials, columns, and cartoons are all different ways we bring information to you, but this page works both ways. Our letters section as well as guest columns are you bringing information to us and our readers.

Our editorial board serves as the official view of the Daily itself. We like to consider it as changing the world 350 words at a time. Our columnists represent their own personal opinion. They come from a rainbow of backgrounds and thus, will represent an array of perspectives.

Editorial cartoons pen important issues into a 4-by-6-inch box. The deaths in Iraq box will continue to track the counts each day. Notice that since the first day we ran the death toll numbers on this page last October, 15,000 more Iraqi civilians and 640 more American soldiers have lost their lives.

The most important aspects of the page deal with reader response. You can be a part of this page by submitting to letters to the editor or by sending a guest column to me. The letters section will showcase short reactions or ideas from you and will be dealt with by our readers’ representative.

Guest columns can be sent to me in a shorter length of between 415 and 435 words or a longer length, between 650 and 850 words.

Throughout the year you will see guest columns from our University president, student groups, your professors, the kid sitting next to you in lecture and maybe even yourself.

I need your submissions to fill space. I want them to make the page great. There is space on this page for your contributions each day we publish.

Like what you see? Write a letter and tell us. Hate it? Write a letter and tell us. Better yet, write a column. We need to hear it. Each day we print there is empty space that can be filled by you.

Frances Zerr is the Opinions editor. She welcomes comments at [email protected].