February 13, 2015
Almost every copy of Enquiry went missing this week. The people who did happen to read Enquiry before it went missing found a front page article about “radical feminism”, which as several posts on Facebook would indicate, did not go over very well with many parts of campus. This incident reflects the latest step of disrespect on camps – namely from those who chose to remove Enquiry. Although we do not necessarily always support the content in Enquiry, we can sympathize with any frustration or disappointment that they may have over the loss of their work.
That said, we also feel that this incident, along with others, indicates the serious need for a venue of rebuttal vis-à-vis Enquiry, and moreover every publication. Any organization, student or otherwise, that creates content is aware that their work does not exist in a vacuum. They naturally draw initial inspiration from their own environment, but they also have their own effects on it as well. Sometimes these effects are positive, but more often they are critical, and organizations should be alive to these elements of their existence. Their pieces live and breathe side by side with the unwritten thoughts of their readers, whether favorable or not, and it seems to benefit organizations to provide a mechanism for these opinions to become properly articulated instead of crudely implied by petty theft. Whether you create comedy, art or opinion, as a creator you inspire a more receptive and conducive environment for your pieces by also creating space for any responses to them. Intellectual context changes constantly, and pieces and publications should provide themselves the opportunity to evolve alongside these changes.
At The Spectator we have Letters to the Editor for such responses. While this style is not necessarily conducive for all formats, there are also other alternatives. E-mail addresses, open meetings and websites with comments sections all provide avenues for responses and growth. With that in mind though, these avenues also require proper respect and decorum from the participants. Opinions always require dutiful, factual argumentation behind them and a critical ear for prose that articulates with consideration and respect. That is not to say that all pieces are created equal, but no piece, no matter the content, deserves to be thrown in the garbage when more constructive ways of expression are available instead.