The case for writing a letter to the editor

Whenever I open the Chips email and delete the dozens of newsletters previous staff members tricked themselves into thinking they’d actually read, I hope and pray to find a letter to the editor. In our first two issues of the semester, we were fortunate enough to receive engaging pieces about Luther’s lack of resources for students with disabilities and that hot mess of a situation with Facilities and Security. Go back and read issues 12 and 13 if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

We sincerely appreciate those of you who lend your voices to the paper and are honored that you trust us to share these messages with the broader Luther community. However, I can sense that the opinion pages will soon return to a state of total desolation if more students, staff, and faculty choose not to take advantage of this public forum. When no one writes in, you force me to fill this page with my own writing instead of the perspectives of other members of the Luther community.

While I am tempted to write impassioned analyses of my favorite Real Housewives1 franchises and break down why I believe Disney is strangling cinema to death, these are topics better suited to niche audiences I can find in various corners of the internet. Everyone on this campus has an opinion about something, and we’re sure your friends are sick of hearing about it on a daily basis.

The reason why most newspapers run an opinion section is to offer an avenue for conversation that other areas of the paper are not designed to facilitate. Your voice matters. For those of you who aren’t convinced yet, please consider this list of reasons why you should write a letter to the editor.

1. It’s more difficult for Luther administrators to ignore issues when they’re raised in public. An email can always be deleted or ignored, but unless they intentionally gather and burn every issue of Chips or take down our website, your letter will remain a thorn in their side until your concerns are properly addressed.

2. It’s easy to feel as if you are the only one with an opinion on any given subject, but this is rarely true. If you’re thinking something, someone else is, too. Think of writing a letter to the editor as an opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

3. Alternatively, writing a letter is also an opportunity to create dialogue with people who don’t agree with your perspective. These interactions are also beneficial because they expose others to ideas they may not consider otherwise and have the potential to foster empathy.

4. Whenever I want to stop thinking about something, I write about it and my brain leaves me alone for a while. Grant yourself peace of mind by doing the same.

5. It will help me fill space. 🙂

I want to stress again that Chips genuinely wants to hear from you, regardless of who you are or what you wish to write about. It doesn’t matter if you’re “good” at writing or not. That’s a skill you can develop. If you have something to say, just say it. I hope to hear from you soon at [email protected]

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chips or organizations with which the author(s) are associated.

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