From the Editor’s Desk: The Exponent is Searching for Conservative Voices to Enrich Campus

As I finish my first semester as editor of the Opinion section, I feel it is a good time to reflect on how these pages could improve. As with any job, there are always personal areas of improvement for me to focus on, but some things lie further outside my control than others. One factor I can influence, but do not control, is the attitudes and political persuasions of the Exponent’s columnists.

 

If you’ve read our Opinion section this semester, you may have noticed that our writers nearly always write in support of liberal causes. Although our writers are talented, they are few, and so readers see the same cast of characters parading the same causes each week. Perhaps this is more noticeable during a legislative session, or perhaps this has always been the case.

 

While the Exponent is well within its rights to publish entirely liberal content within its opinion pages, that doesn’t meet the calling that our section is striving to meet. An opinion section should both refine and reflect the views of its readership. Currently, I do not think we are reflecting MSU’s campus as well as we could.

 

Reflecting our readership is harder than it may sound. In my experience, MSU is a place where political views fracture in very diverse ways. More than other places in the nation, you are unlikely to run into posterchild liberals or conservative diehards. Said in another way, I don’t know people who support almost every cause of the party they voted for in the last election.

 

And yet, here I am saying our section needs conservative writers. Personally, I support liberal arguments more than conservative ones. I say this only to demonstrate I am sincere in calling for the opinions of bright conservative minds — I want balance, not the representation of my own views.

 

I was telling a mentor of mine recently that my voice often felt lost among a sea of 14,000 students in a rapidly changing university. Her response was simple, immediate and correct: “you always have a voice.” If you don’t see your views in this paper and you want to improve the community you participate in every day, pick up an Exponent application in SUB room 366. Or if you just want to get your feet wet, you can always write 300-word letters to the editor by emailing letters@exponent.montana.edu.