September 7, 2016
Filed under Editorials
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Hello everyone, and welcome back to fall semester at The University of Akron. We hope your classes have started smoothly and you are engaged in your work.
We’d like to mention three things in this piece. First, who we are; second, what we’re like; third, some thoughts on the University.
Who we are
For those who might not know, we are the University’s independent, student-run newspaper. We publish twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Our papers can be picked up from little metal stands at many sites across campus, usually just inside the doorway of whatever building you have classes in, along with the Bierce and ASEC libraries, Rob’s Dining Hall, Buchtel Hall, and various dormitory buildings. They are free. Please take as many as you like.
You can also find all our stories online at buchtelite.com. We have extra content there that cannot be printed, such as digital polls and sports scores (updated immediately). Check those out. There’s a new poll every week, and it’s important that you make known your thoughts on the issues at UA.
You’ll also find us on social media. We have a Facebook and a Twitter that are updated frequently. The links to all the stories we publish in print are posted there too. If you have something you think the rest of campus should know about – let us know on social media (or by email, or phone call, or anything, really). We’ll look into it.
Anyone can write or take photos for The Buchtelite: any major, any year, any experience. Because it’s volunteer work, you can also choose how much you want to do, whether it’s one story per week or one per semester. If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we’re like
You probably don’t care about us. That’s understandable; newspapers are fast declining the country over, especially the lesser-known, smaller-staffed papers on college campuses. For younger people, national news often takes precedence over local news. TV is more entertaining than reading. Social media is easier than going to a news site. Paper is difficult to handle…etc., etc. We get it.
There is still something to be said for us though. We may not have the fastest or most complete coverage, the best reporting or the best photos, the largest staff or the most volunteers. But we do have a perspective that no one else has – the truly local perspective, the perspective of fellow students at The University of Akron.
We write for the students, and we are students. Whatever news happens, we’ll always cover it with that in mind.
If your goal is to get to the University, get a degree, and get out in the shortest time possible, the least you can do is keep yourself informed. And if you are going to keep yourself informed, you cannot ignore the local perspective. UA news is not just news. It is a part of your life as a student; and your life as a student, in the present, is just as much a part of your life as your life in the future, perhaps with jobs, money and a family. Stay informed. Participate in present concerns.
The past year
Was crazy. Petitions, protests, presidential problems, angry people, misunderstood people, well-meaning people – it all was there.
In short, a much-criticized administration led by former president Scott Scarborough (who now teaches class at UA) made many large changes to the University in a short amount of time, including but not limited to cutting more than 200 positions and reducing or eliminating programs, attempting to rebrand the school to “Ohio’s Polytechnic University,” beginning controversial initiatives, and, above all, communicating ineffectually.
The drive behind these changes, Scarborough often reminded us, was to get UA out of its financial trouble. But it didn’t work as planned, and after a year of such activity, donations, enrollment, and University reputation were down.
They must be brought up again. And the interim president, former dean of the UA law school Matthew Wilson, is more than promising. His sincerity cannot be doubted. His communication is, so far, outstanding (see the Town Hall article on the front page). We hope his enthusiasm keeps up, and also finds room in the hearts and minds of all others who care about the University.