BY JESSIE SPANGLER
It’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows me that I love journalism. I may complain here and there, but deep down, I always love it. Coming to Drake in 2015 to begin my journey toward a journalism career was exciting and also nerve-wracking at the same time. I had this feeling of being on a roller coaster, the exhilaration combined with a weird sense of fear, the inevitable rushing towards you as you tip up and down toward a blurry future.
There was a sense of finality about it, too. By declaring a news major, it felt as though I had a solid plan, at least for the next couple of years. It was also a relief, because for a while before that I was planning on being a veterinarian, and being a journalism major meant way less math.
The plan, ever since I decided to come to Drake, was to work on the Times-Delphic. At first, it was a way to get experience and a way to meet new people. Now, as a junior and Editor-in-Chief, I realize the Times-Delphic is way more than a learning experience.
The Times-Delphic isn’t just important to us journalism students, but it’s important to the whole student body. Without it, who would be reporting on what’s going on with administration and faculty? Who would be reporting on important things happening on campus every week?
The TD is an independent newspaper. Our funding comes from student activity fees, not funds raised by the University. Yes: you, as a student, are paying for the TD already, along with all of the other amazing, student-run publications that are produced every year.
All college newspapers should be independent of their university, because no money from the university basically means the university can’t control anything we do. It means freedom.
The administration should expect to be criticized. They should expect to hear from students, whether it be an opinion article in the paper, an email or a post on social media. They need to be held accountable. College administrators hold more power than you might realize, especially at private universities. If you think there are no problems in college administrations, think again.
First off, for universities, it’s all about money. Students, as I’m sure we all know, pay ridiculous amounts of money every year for a college education. The reputation plays a huge part in raking in tuition dollars from students, and universities, including Drake, try extremely hard to keep a squeaky clean reputation. Which, of course, makes sense. No one wants a bad reputation, but it’s also important for students to keep in mind that higher education is big-business disguised as non-profits.
But there’s an issue when the administration doesn’t realize there’s a problem on their own campus, when students are scared to speak up or put a name next to their opinion article, when students make an anonymous Twitter account because that’s the only way they feel like Drake administrators will pay attention to them.
Your students are telling you something, administrators. You need to show them that you are listening.
We need an independent press to address issues like these and to provide a dialogue. The TD will continue to take a hard look into the administration’s actions by reporting and will continue to use our opinions section as a platform for student voices, regardless of whether the administration likes it or not.
The higher ups at Drake need to stop ignoring the concerns of students, and should take a hard, long look at why students may feel the need to voice their concerns about Drake’s administration. It’s not a productive use of my or any of my other staff members’ time to talk to us about an opinion you didn’t agree with, especially one that wasn’t written by any staff members.
There are many important matters the administration needs to deal with but have been acting agonizingly slow on. For example, the lack of diversity on this campus. It’s time to hire more diverse professors and make Drake less of an elitist school. Offer more scholarships for students to make Drake more affordable. Don’t hike up housing fees when you’re closing a residence hall, or keep a residence hall that desperately needs to be torn down and replaced (Ross is a lawsuit waiting to happen, honestly).
Provide more counselors on campus, because last time I checked, we only have four, which is definitely not enough for a few thousand students. There are so many things Drake could begin to address. Even something as simple as extending the Drake bus hours on weekdays.
The First Amendment and transparency are exceedingly important to good journalists, and I came to Drake to learn how to be a good journalist. To not only be faced with oppression from the administration, but to be scolded by the president of this university about an opinion piece that students wrote about something they’re concerned about, and to be told that in his three years at Drake, he never had to have a meeting like that with TD leadership … that must mean we’re doing something right.