Regarding the Foghorn’s running of MEChA’s and other concerned student letters in this issue
Since our Foghorn April Fool’s issue, which offended a number of readers (an offense we did not intend and deeply regret), we invited the offended to publish letters of response. Instead, the Culturally Focused Clubs wrote the Foghorn a letter in response to the issue, but published it through their own e-newsletter, not allowing the Foghorn to publish it.
Late last week MEChA sent over five handwritten letters that had been written three weeks ago, in response to our persistent encouragement to publish their responses to our satirical issue. The Foghorn asked the authors of these letters to have the letters resubmitted, typed and condensed because of space limits and because we did not want to introduce mistakes in transcribing the authors’ handwriting.
In order to accommodate the extra letters, Dr. Mary Wardell, Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, offered to pay for extra pages in this week’s issue. Even though this would mean a scramble to produce enough content to fill the extra space at the last minute, we welcomed the opportunity to include more student voices—even those highly critical of our staff and publication—in the last issue of our academic year.
This past Friday, at a meeting between the Foghorn staff and the coalition of students offended by the April Fools’ issue, Dr. Wardell encouraged the aforementioned students to resubmit their letters, taking into consideration the progress made by the end of the dialogue, and some of them indicated they would. I, as the opinion editor, legibly wrote out my name, e-mail, cell number, and the deadline for letter to the editor submissions (Saturdays at noon) to make sure that all details would be clear for those interested.
Unfortunately and to my surprise, by the Foghorn’s layout deadline, we did not receive any of the letters we had been lead to expect.
We are sharing this background information with our readers so that they understand that we made a good faith effort to accommodate our critics. We are aware that there has been speculation that we are trying to suppress voices and nothing could be further from the truth. As stated in our Submission Policy, included on page four every printed issue, “The San Francisco Foghorn Opinion page is a forum for the free, fair and civil exchange of ideas.” We proudly consider ourselves a medium that allows for discourse, conversation and one that is representative of the voice of students at USF. We welcome any supportive or critical opinion to be printed in our pages. As I always tell my staff writers: “You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own set of facts.”
I hope that this note has cleared any doubts of the San Francisco Foghorn’s intentions and mission as USF’s student newspaper.
Nothing matches the incomparable excitement I get when I see a new opinion editorial or letter to the editor in my inbox; it means that the opinion section is fulfilling its purpose and this year I was consistently intrigued and always learning from the various editorials that I received. Thank you for an amazing year, to both my staff writers and contributing writers.