Letter to the Editor

By The Beacon | January 30, 2013 9:00pm

Press and admin. not friends

(Photo courtesy of fromthebarn.org)


Welcome to the real world Beacon journalists. Your dilemma at the University of Portland is exactly what you will find outside the U of P academic compound upon graduation. You have learned a valuable lesson. See this as a positive learning experience. 

A word of caution. So far you have come right up to the line of acceptable student challenging of the powers that be. However, to take one more step and actually name those that refuse to talk to you and the subject matter they will not discuss is to put your student status at considerable risk. I advise against it. 

 The Press - when it's doing its job, any Press, anywhere, is NOT the friend of those in authority, any where and any time. It is one of the most important principles necessary to learn for success in investigative journalism. 

May I suggest the topic of Coal Exports as worthy of Beacon inquiry. Millions of tons of coal could be shipped by rail within earshot and eyesight of U of P students. Surely U of P students concerned about there own personal health as well as Climate Change would find this topic of considerable interest.  

What action is the U of P community taking? Is anyone talking about joining other college disinvestment activists? Who at the U of P is watching from the bleachers and who is on the field and in the game?  

Poking around the coal issue is very likely to reveal what you have already discovered to be true, namely, "those in power who would rather not address uncomfortable issues simply ignore them." Investigating student, staff and administration attitudes and behaviors on this issue will open a Pandora's Box. But, that is your job. Good luck. 

Richard Ellmyer Chair, Noth Portland

Coal Commission Coal Committee