Staff Editorial: A Balance of Opinion

Oracle Staff

Here at the Oracle, we consider equal representation on both sides of an issue to be of the utmost importance. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a voice willing to speak against the majority on a controversial issue. Current events trending around campus make excellent topics for point/counterpoint opinion articles, but not every issue leaves the staff divided opinion wise. In cases like these, a columnist may provide an opposing side to an issue, contrary to his or her personal beliefs, for the sake of a fair and balanced representation.

Recently, we have received some negative feedback about opinions expressed in our recent point/counterpoint argument about vaccinations. We have read the anonymous opinions from those who frequent the Hamline Confessions Facebook page, and we have heard verbal feedback from many of you, and we appreciate hearing your thoughts about our publication. We realize that the recent discourse about vaccination is an issue on which many have very strong opinions that they will defend tirelessly. As journalists, the First Amendment is our sacred credo, and we deeply respect the right of everyone to advocate for their own beliefs (well, within reason…we’re not endorsing cannibalism or anything of that nature here).

But there is one thing that we would like to remind you about our newspaper: the Opinion section is a platform for the expression of a diverse set of viewpoints.We would like to stress that the opinions expressed within the section do not always reflect the honest opinions of the staff, but a representation of varying viewpoints on popular topics of debate in our society. Our point/counterpoint columns are designed to showcase each side of the argument, for an opportunity to set your own personal beliefs aside and consider why those who are opposed to you think the way they do. It is an exercise unique to the Opinion section, and one that demands our Opinion columnists to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes—which is useful not only for a broad view of a situation, but in order to practice versatility as a writer and a reader, and perhaps become aware of a perspective in a new way. As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society, “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

Since our mission as an independent and objective student newspaper is to seek out and represent, necessity can overshadow personal preference when it comes to coverage of hot topics on campus and in the media. The point of adopting various views is to engage the readers in a discourse so that they may better understand their own opininions, and perhaps challenge whatever automatic prejudice they already hold toward the subject in question.

If you disagree, or perhaps even agree with the opinion expressed here on Pages 6 and 7 of the Oracle, please let us know!  This is a venue for you, the student body and community of Hamline, and we want to hear what you have to say.