Since publishing the special Adderall report on Monday – which included a news story, an opinion column and the staff editorial – The Miami Hurricane has observed criticism and discontent among readers.
People have shared their opinions over email, Facebook, Twitter and through comments on our website. Most have scrutinized the editors’ decision to publish the satirical commentary, which was by a writer who has turned to Concerta – legally prescribed – to enhance his academic performance. Many have questioned the credibility of the Hurricane for publishing such a piece.
I’d like to make it clear that the opinion columns published in the Hurricane – with the exception of the staff editorial – represent the views of the individual columnists, and not the Hurricane or its editorial board. Choosing not to publish a column because we disagree with it would be inherently biased.
It’s also worth noting that nowhere did the staff editorial endorse illegal Adderall abuse – that was never our position, and we would never intentionally encourage students to turn to an activity that could harm themselves or the university. The editorial, the product of organized staff-wide discussion, merely recognized the pressure students face that sometimes lead them to do things like take Adderall to boost their focus. It read: “Adderall won’t make you smarter or invincible, it just heightens your drive to finish study guides, research papers and projects.” There is obviously a fine line between choosing not to chastise our peers for illegal drug use and encouraging this illegal drug use – but we treaded it carefully.
Finally, we worked to keep the news story objective and diverse in perspective.
Although we’ve been asked by a number of dissatisfied readers to retract these pieces, doing so would work against our mission to cover all aspects of the University of Miami community. Newspapers serve as forums for public comment, and the Hurricane strives to represent diverse opinions. In that spirit, the Hurricane editorial board stands behind Monday’s staff editorial, and the decision to publish Robert Pursell’s column.