Murcia: The Observer’s semester grade is a C-

Editor’s Note: The Observer is a member of the University Media Board (UMB) and funded by the UMB’s allocated portion of the Student Activities Fee and further through advertisements from local vendors. It bears no relation to the Undergraduate Student Government. The Observer does not conduct any activities outside of its publication.

To the editor,

The Observer: C-

I think the giving grades to different groups on campus is a cute and fun thing for The Observer to do at the end of the semester, but I was bothered when I read that The Observer rated ‘Student Action’ a C. Is The Observer not the largest student run media organization? Has the Observer done everything it can to facilitate student action? Taking this into account, and since grades are being handed, I would like to give The Observer a C-. A ‘C’ for all the reasons they mentioned in their blurb about Student Action and then the minus for reporting on them as a moralist entity that is inherently separate from the student body.

I have no problem with The Observer chasing a false sense of objectivity when covering campus issues, but I do have a problem with them criticizing their students for remaining equally neutral on issues. I realize the staff isn’t completely spineless and has criticized many issues about this university but that comprises student actions, you guys are part of the student body and thus take part in ‘Student Action.’ I guarantee a lot more students are now aware about an issue like the smoking ban because it received a huge front page headline and picture; so every week The Observer makes a decision on what to promote and there is real student power there that must be treasured. Are you guys going to dedicate front page headline to a sexual assault on campus or the latest sports victory? Underrepresentation of minorities in the faculty or a rubber duck fire?

I think The Observer has fixed basic income from the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), so responding to market demand can’t even be an excuse for not facilitating student action. Bottom line, there is no such thing as neutrality. A group like ‘The Observer’ is either preserving the status quo by feigning objectivity, or promoting/organizing activism that brings about change on campus. If The Observer chooses the former, I would ask that they not condemn their classmates when they do the same.

Gabriel Murcia

Third-year student