October 9, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Apathetic Coverage of an Active Campus

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To the Editor:

Re: “Cornell Campus Politicos View Presidential Debate With Criticism, Snark and Cheetos,” News, Oct. 4

I have been confused recently about the nature of The Sun’s reporting on on-campus political activity. In the wake of the article bemoaning a lack of visible political activism on campus, recent reporting has displayed an odd anti-campus politico slant. In recent weeks, we have hosted events and made over 1,500 calls in favor of democratic congressional candidates, and in a recent voter registration rally (with the help of other campus politicos) registered over 350 of our fellow students to vote. I can understand that there is a lot going on on-campus, and so that our phone banking efforts have received no mention in The Sun and that our voter registration efforts have merited only a picture is understandable, or at least it was.

Today I picked up the paper to see a front page article in which a laid back debate-watching social gathering was portrayed as a gathering of contemptuous, smirking, snarky, sarcastic smart-mouths, in a front page article no less. At this point, I have to ask, what can a campus politico possibly do to gain favorable coverage from your publication? Perhaps instead we should have watched the debate in a state of dignified stoicism? Perhaps then the headline would read, “Campus Politicos View Debate with Apathy, Detached Resignation.” If registering over 350 students to vote in a day merits merely a picture, but some jokes at a party (where people generally try to have a good time and make each other laugh) are deemed worthy of a front page, full length article, it seems that The Sun is more concerned with controversy and ridicule than with actually encouraging and fostering a culture of robust political engagement on campus. Perhaps next time The Sun looks to cry crocodile tears about the lack of political engagement on campus, it should look at the role it itself plays in ignoring or else ridiculing campus political life.

Dalton Vieira ’14

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