Staff Ed: Credibility of stories

Oracle Staff

Sparked by coverage of a story that we learned about during a Hamline Undergrad Student Congress (HUSC) meeting, we wanted to take a moment to address the space HUSC offers up as part of their General Assembly meeting for issues brought up by the community, with every submission treated with seriousness and confidence. They have named this time “Rumors and Concerns.” 

We wanted to recognize that this space HUSC is offering a solution to the administration of Hamline should be doing. This is indicative of a pattern of making students create solutions and fill gaps where the administration is falling short. 

While HUSC provides a platform for all to speak their mind at the meeting, our editorial board wanted to voice our concerns regarding the types of information exchange.

HUSC is and has historically been a solutions-based organization here on campus. For example, just last month HUSC passed a resolution to bring Narcan to campus through their funding until it moves to be part of the Hamline Public Safety budget.

Although we take issue with their solution for addressing rumors on campus,  they are doing what they can with the limited, but reasonable, resources that students have access to. 

We are especially concerned about this practice of platforming rumors that HUSC is continuing because as journalists here at the Oracle, we strive to do our due diligence researching the claims we are told, especially rumors. While rumors can point us to meaningful content, they are hearsay. Journalists use the practice of sourcing, research and investigation to ensure we have vetted information adequately with no room for unconfirmed information. 

As journalists, we work to publish information that is substantiated to preserve our credibility, as many outlets have been susceptible to publishing untrue, sensationalized headlines in the past.  We vow to seek truth and report it. Our work would be considered as nothing without the ability to trust what we do. 

The camaraderie between students that HUSC offers is invaluable, and sharing perspectives and experiences are a vital part of what makes student government so necessary.  However, there are policies and procedures in place for how this information can be shared. We must create spaces that can ensure the safety and privacy of those involved, so our energy can be spent on improving the current systems and situations in place.

While HUSC’s meeting time may miss the mark, it does illuminate the gaps in current procedures that exist. Who is being left out? Who lacks access and support? 

As an organization on campus that also tries our best to be solutions-oriented, we wanted to suggest that HUSC replaces this section of the meeting with platforming the policies and procedures in place currently that allow for concerns to be raised and for rumor-spreading to be discouraged. 

These Hamline-established policies and procedures may be falling short, as we see with our student congress arranging time for students to air these grievances, but it should not be the students’ job to create accessible space for concerns to be raised. 


The Editorial Board