Last weekend, an edit desk that was published at 8 p.m. got more than 3,000 views before midnight — numbers The Brown and White doesn’t typically see on a newly published story. Or pretty much any story.
The article sparked controversy among the Lehigh community, both on- and offline, about a wide-reaching topic that can both unite and divide students — Greek life.
An assistant sports editor wrote a piece for the opinion section to reflect her opinion, just how editorials written by The Brown and White’s editorial board reflect our opinions.
The Brown and White’s reporters do not inject their opinions when reporting on stories for the news, lifestyle and sports sections. The opinion section, however, is where they can express their own points of view.
Almost every newspaper has an opinion section. Unlike other sections, its content does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of the paper as a whole.
Everyone — from an assistant editor to the editor in chief — is granted the opportunity to write an edit desk every semester. Not only can they write about and cover issues they think are important, but they are able to take their observations and share them with the public. That is the ultimate goal of the edit desk.
College is a place where students can find their voices and use them to challenge norms and push boundaries. If not here, where?
Pieces written for the opinion section are meant to spark a conversation, not invite aggressive discourse.
We all need to remember that it is OK to be controversial. Being able to share your differing opinion takes courage.
The responsibility of journalists is to inform readers while encouraging them to challenge the beliefs and ideas of the people around them.
Only reading content that confirms what you already know is not interesting, nor is it intellectually stimulating.
Just because an opinion is provocative does not mean it is unworthy of being published, so, as editors, we will not censor or hinder what writers would like to say — unless it is lewd or libelous.
That’s a right protected by the First Amendment.
For those who are concerned that “anyone can write for the paper” — well, you can.
Though it is fine to post your opinion as an anonymous comment online, you can also submit a letter to the editor. Leave your name on it. Then you can be part of the conversation too.
There is a reason this edit desk has more than 10,000 views. People flocked to this controversial article and shared it with their friends, whether or not they supported the opinion.
The Brown and White staff is made up of students from all different backgrounds — we study various subjects and are involved in the arts, engineering, business, athletics and Greek life, among other interests. Each of us as individuals have different points of view.
As members of the publication that serves the Lehigh community, we always try our best to have our fingers on the pulse of what is happening on and around campus. We report on a wide range of issues, and we track user engagement on stories to gauge our readers’ interests.
Stories concerning Greek life often attract the most attention.
For reference, an investigative report on opioid addiction in the Lehigh Valley was published in the same issue as the controversial edit desk. Barely more than 400 readers have viewed that piece.
Our reporters write compelling articles about the community, local elections and sexual assault — topics that affect us all — which don’t receive as much attention as pieces about Greek life. While Greek life is an integral part of student life, it is not all that Lehigh has to offer.
The staff of The Brown and White is comprised of Lehigh students. We write opinion pieces based on our individual experiences, which may differ from the experiences of others at this university.
Whether or not you agree with an opinion, people have the right to use their voices.
As journalists, our ultimate goal is to engage our readers in civil and informed discourse.
We are proud to report on a community of diverse and dynamic individuals. We value and celebrate the differences in opinions on this campus. It is our hope that our readers do, too.