Editorial: Open debate must always remain respectful and constructive
By THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
At The Blue & Gray Press, we love to see the university community engage in the discussion of vital issues on our campus. We also love seeing these important conversations take place on our website in response to our articles. Whether positive or negative, constructive criticism is a large aspect of journalism that all journalists understand and come to appreciate. In addition, this editorial board enjoys getting letters to the editor and op-eds about issues the student body and university community find important. The discussions that take place in the comments can be constructive, informative and sometimes eye-opening. While this is true, we would also like to remind everyone that the University’s Statement of Community Values is something that applies on our website, whether anonymous or not.
According to the statement, “We hold among our foremost common values: the importance of personal integrity as reflected in adherence to the Honor Code, the right of every individual to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, the appreciation of and respect for diversity in our community and adherence to the University’s Principles on Diversity and Inclusion and the University’s Statement of Non-Discrimination, and the freedom of intellectual inquiry in the pursuit of truth. We accept responsibility to help create the environment we strive to achieve. We will live up to these values and work to support our collective and individual successes. As members of the University community, we will not condone behavior that compromises or threatens these values.”
This statement is something that every student at this university is well aware of, as it is taught to us during our first week at UMW. Given this, The Blue & Gray Press holds our university community to the same standards online. While anonymity is inevitable in some instances, this editorial board will not tolerate threats, harassment or personal attacks of any kind to anyone. Anonymity will never stand as a justification for vicious attacks or offensive comments. If a comment is reported as offensive or dangerous, this editorial board will remove the post and act accordingly. If anyone, as a reader of The Blue & Gray Press, feels threatened, please feel free to contact us with your concerns.
We value the freedom of speech and expression, and as journalists, we understand its importance in society, but there are clear lines that will not be tolerated online. Despite our differences, our university is a community that values open discussion when conducted in a constructive, informative and respectful manner.
The Blue & Gray Press is proud to serve as a platform for students, faculty and community members to air grievances, voice concerns and share opinions. We want to continue to offer a space where students can express and share their views.
We encourage the submission of letters and op-eds. If you want to share your views, reach out to us with your submissions by Sunday evenings at 9 p.m.