The time has come for the editorial staff to clarify to our esteemed readers what an editorial is. Apparently, we have to go through this every year after one of our pieces raises a few eyebrows around campus.
An editorial is an opinion and an opinion is not news. If the average reader wanted to be informed about the different presidential candidates, their tickets, their backgrounds and their performance in the debates, we had articles covering that in both of last week’s issues. On the other hand, in the editorial, we must take a stance that we feel will best benefit our community. Most professional newspapers endorse a candidate in relevant elections, and The Hurricane has traditionally done the same.
Clearly, we may make mistakes. After all, we endorsed Sadowski for president last year, and we all know how that turned out. However, we stand by our endorsement. At election time last year, Sadowski stood out from the other candidates and had a very detailed and well-researched platform that was quite feasible. Unfortunately, he didn’t fulfill his promises or employ his full potential. Too bad – it doesn’t mean that our editorial staff was wrong in endorsing him, it just means that Sadowski has a weakness of not following through on his good ideas.
Student leaders who have the courage to run for visible SG positions like that of president are admirable not only for the time, effort and money that it takes to run for office, but also for putting themselves on the line during campaigning and elections. However, this is a conscious risk taken by the candidates, and with it comes criticism. We – the editorial staff and the student body – don’t criticize simply for criticism’s sake; we do it to point out weaknesses that may go unnoticed to the average, uninformed student. Furthermore, whoever does win this election should be prepared to face further criticism in the future – it comes with the territory.
Some think that our last editorial should have just talked about the candidate we endorsed as opposed to mentioning all of the other candidates’ weaknesses. This would have been possible, had one of the candidates stood head and shoulders above the rest to give us enough positive aspects to talk about. However, because it took the editorial staff several days of discussion, including personal interviews with all the candidates and research on their experience and platforms, to decide whom to endorse, we felt it was important to touch upon all the candidates and why we ultimately hadn’t chosen them.
If a consequence of that editorial was to spark controversy and get people really talking about the elections and the issues at hand, then we have done our job. Someone has to be strong enough to take a stance, particularly after last week’s debates and campaigns, regrettably homogeneous and bland, were not thought-provoking enough to make a difference. Future candidates should take the hint.
The real test to these ambitious young men will be what they do – or don’t do – once this election is over. If the seven candidates who are not elected follow through on their ideas despite being out of office, then they will be the true leaders of the University. They will prove the skeptics wrong and show that they are doing what they believe in and not just what looks good in a resum. Otherwise, they will simply give us more to write about in our now-clarified editorials.