The op-ed is alive and well

Mike Steffan

I am writing to answer the question posed by a Minnesota Daily columnist in the April 26 issue, âÄúIs the op-ed dead?âÄù Simply put: No! Although I do have to hand it to him âÄî heâÄôs got some courage to question the need for his own student occupation. Kudos. I wish to argue that the op-ed section of the Daily is where the community of the University of Minnesota can come together to discuss issues that are important to students, faculty, staff and alumni. That community cannot be wholly captured by the sports section, nor can it be wholly satisfied by Dr. DateâÄôs attempts at love miracles. While it might sound tacky, my point is that there are very few venues in which the community can bring up and debate publicly the issues that are important to students. Sure, there are examples of other forms of media that provide a âÄúhigher qualityâÄù op-ed section, but can you honestly say that a newspaper without an op-ed section is really serving the needs of the campus community? A free press allows us to celebrate democratic politics by promoting the consideration and debate of issues typically specific to the University, something that the other examples Parsley provides cannot do. In an economic climate where we hold our University president with the utmost suspicion, we cannot afford to lose the op-ed. One only needs to go back and re-read the hubbub created by the Student Services Fees process to see the need for op-eds. Mike Steffan, University undergraduate student