The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's student newspaper

The Advocate

Letter to the editor

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Let’s throw out all the extra junk that doesn’t belong in this debate that somehow worked its way in through back doors, secret rooms and big bellies.

The argument placing the Advocate on the hot seat for campus funding lacks common sense. To cut the flowery crap, the university legislators are entertaining the idea that, because they fund the paper’s printing, they should be able to censor what they want. Unfortunately, making the staff adhere to these principles gives them less chance to succeed in their program and beyond the university.

No paper wants to hire a reporter who learned how to produce biased and censored news. So, now, to Advocate members, it feels like their futures are less important than others. Nice work on alienating a program that has garnered respect for your university.

If we tell Advocate staffers and the journalism majors, who, by the way, have excelled every bit as much as any other graduates in areas of job placement, proficiency and award-winningness, that they should eat their words, eat the truth and let things slide, they will lose the respect of the people hiring our great journalism graduates.

I’m not saying the Advocate is perfect. These are also students who are learning a trade, but you also have to remember that they are under great leadership and guidance by Lee Wood, who, unlike many faculty commentators on this issue, has actually worked in the field. His hands are stained with ink, as are mine and many other journalism graduates who learned our trade and principles from this man.

This doesn’t affect only our journalism graduates, either. Campus Life has protected Pitt-Johnstown students far too often and for far too long and also set the precedent that if you pay a certain amount of money, tuition, you can get slaps on the wrist in situations that others wouldn’t.

If we let students continue to hide beneath the shield of campus justice, then we are setting a dangerous precedent that they are special, and how is that protection preparing any of these men and women for the “Real World?” The university cannot continue to listen to the squawking parents who believe that childhood extends until their offspring turns 21. Here’s a real fact: In the eyes of everyone else looking in, anyone 18 and older is an adult and should be treated as such. Every student on campus is an adult with the rare exception of gifted children who are 16 and 17. That’s real life.

If the university continues to listen to the squeaky wheel over professionalism, then this could be the end of The Advocate’s integrity, signaling the end of a great program known for its quality graduates. So, please, by all means, let the 18-year-old babies continue to suckle at the breast of the idealistic, extended parent that university has become, rather than support a program that continues to produce results. Sarcasm very much intended.

It is insulting beyond words to see so many clean hands trying to change The Advocate and the principles it holds dear. To the Advocate staffer, I say, “Fight on.”

Sincerely,

Nathan Bottiger

2010 graduate

Butler Eagle staff writer

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The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's student newspaper
Letter to the editor