Letter to the Editor: Tell stories for student media

By The Beacon | January 23, 2013 9:00pm

Jennette Lovejoy (The Beacon)

By Jennette Lovejoy, Guest Commentary

Pandora is playing. You are texting and I'm talking to you. Your class assignment is downsized while you Facebook chat. Hey, come check out this YouTube video on cats, you say to your roommate across the room. You take a bite. A drink. Whatever.

You grab a copy of The Beacon and notice an article on the increase of campus theft. You think about your unlocked bike outside of your dorm. Where is Jana, you yell to anybody who will listen. She's at the KDUP meeting, your roommate says beside you on the couch. You can't believe you are going to graduate. This spring. How did the years go by so fast? When does The Log get published? you ask your roommate on the couch. I don't know, she says, but we better get one so we can preserve the story of our time here.

Stories. Think about them. From the ones you tell your best friend in the wee hours of the morning to the ones that go viral on the web to the ones that help us cast a vote to the ones that remind us of the good in humanity to the ones that teach us of empathy and compassion for those in need. Stories are the bedrock of our culture.

We consume stories. We create them constantly. And, of course, there are ones that need to be told to a broader audience. A university campus is enriched by stories that ask important questions, laud accomplishments and people, follow events, build public awareness about challenging issues and give community a forum to express ideas.

Stories here at the University of Portland help bind us together with common reference points and knowledge of events and issues as well as teach us about diverse viewpoints and culture. That process of storytelling via our student media outlets is integral to a thriving, rich campus environment. Although I'm biased, think about making the jump from a consumer of stories to a producer of stories. Follow your curiosities, your passions or the inconsistencies you notice. Do your part to give that important campus story life.

Dr. Jennette Lovejoy is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department. She can be reached at lovejoy@up.edu.