Editorial: Rebuilding the Community

McDaniel College versus Westminster, McDaniel students versus the administration…these oppositions have been recently brought to the forefront of our perception, but they could not have appeared so suddenly.  No, these must have been forming for years, brewing in the shadows, slowly building pressure until something as simple as neighborhood complaints ignited the situation so dynamically that the situation became impossible to ignore.

Perhaps it’s always been this way, or has been growing for a long time- if any alumni are reading this, the Free Press would love to hear your perspective on the issue.  Because really, how does so much animosity build to this level?

Not sure what animosity I refer to? Features Editor Lisa Vasapollo wrote a commentary highlighting the harmful discourse about and within McDaniel College lately.

The tone of the posts from students is so full of bitterness and frustration, something that is shocking to read, and yet, relatable.  Many of us here have experienced frustrations with aspects of the college.  I’m not sure it’s different at any other college, even.

But these things under the surface, a complaint here, a short Facebook status rant there, just building…

If we could have addressed these issues sooner, perhaps things would not be at this point now.

After the McDaniel Memes of last Spring, the college began holding Campus 411 events as a means of providing students with the opportunity to get their voices heard.  Is this enough? Based on the results of the one held yesterday, I would guess not, as much of the buzz on social media escalated during and after that event.

What other venues do we have to address our issues?

Well, there was that City Council meeting that nobody seemed to know about.  The Carroll County Times articles that didn’t quote McDaniel students until very recently.  The Campus 411 that did not seem to satisfy many attendees.

As the Editor of the McDaniel Free Press, I invite you, the McDaniel College community, as well as residents of Westminster, to reach out to us to get your voices heard.  Comment on the articles.  Post your concerns to our Facebook page.  Tweet questions at us.  We will answer.

Journalism, or at least, my idealized notion of it, is meant to speak for the voiceless.  It is supposed to reveal problems and thereby encourage those in power to address them.

The staff of the Free Press has worked harder than ever this year to increase our presence, update our processes, and become a more cohesive organization in order to serve our community.  We have asked for you input in doing so.

Admittedly, there is still work for us to do.

In the same way, there is still work for the McDaniel community as a whole, for us to work together with the city of Westminster to make the entire community a welcoming place for everybody.

Tell us how you think this should happen.  Tell us the problems you think are holding us back.  Voice your concerns.  Your opinions matter to us.

We want to be a resource, as not only a news source, but a platform of discourse.

How are we doing?  What can we do better?  What else do you want from the McDaniel Free Press?

Work with us so we can better work for you, so when the next issue begins boiling under the surface, it can be exposed and addressed before things get to the point they are currently at.



Comment below, submit a letter to the editor, or email freepress@mcdaniel.edu to respond to this story, or any story.

2 Comments on "Editorial: Rebuilding the Community"

  1. Do any other alumni who might read this remember the “Fire the new Dean” facebook group from the ’06-’07 academic year?

    – Chris Ferrick-Manley ’09

  2. Annie Brown | March 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

    McDaniel students: Have you volunteered in the Westminster community? If so, how? Let me know: abb005.

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