In case there was any confusion on campus, we’d like to go ahead and clear it up right now: the Bullet is not the New York Times. We might publish the same kind of Pulitzer-worthy content and our readership might be roughly equivalent in size, but in terms of setting a consistent long-term editorial agenda, we’re a little handicapped.
As with many other UMW institutions (sports teams, “the Frat,” the President’s office), the turnover rate at the Bullet is pretty high. Each semester, a few editors graduate, and each semester, a few staff writers step in to fill their shoes. It’s a constant cycle that doesn’t leave a lot of room for continuity in terms of editorial decisions.
So, it’s always a little discouraging to hear students complain about how we handled the Jefferson Hall incident three years ago or how that one Sexclamations article made you cringe uncomfortably a couple of semesters back.
To provide a little perspective on how much things change around here, the Bullet has gone through two faculty advisers, five editor-in-chiefs, and six Sexclamations writers since the Jefferson Hall incident set off a hailstorm of controversy on campus three years ago.
In that time, we like to think we’ve come a long way– our website no longer posts our stories in Latin, we actually cover the school’s sports, we added a video editor position, etc.–but still we get the same complaints from the student body.
In a lot of ways, we’re starting to feel a lot like the folks over at Seacobeck.
Granted, our bias might be showing a little here, considering our office’s location underneath the most underrated dining facility on the planet, but we’ve got a pretty good hunch that the same people who complain about the Bullet’s past coverage are probably the same people who visited Seaco freshman year, got hit with culinary innovations like the pizza hamburger and peanut butter sushi, and wrote the place off for their next four years.
What’s unfortunate about this prevailing campus attitude is that, with the exception of the atomic fireball a Bullet editor found in their peach cobbler last week (apparently Seaco was celebrating “Fire and Ice Week”), the higher-ups over there have been making a noticeably sincere effort to listen to student feedback and improve accordingly.
Here at the Bullet, we’re up to the same game. You might not always agree with our editorial decisions, but writing us off only hurts the community were trying to serve. The only way were going to meet the needs of that community is if you, the reader, help us identify those needs.
Leave a comment on the website. Write a letter to the editor. Heck, just come in to the office and tell us what you think. If you’re willing to risk the dungeons of Seacobeck, our door is always open.