Hi, my name is Jessica, not ‘Stater’

Jessica Lumpp

I have only been a part of the Stater staff for one semester. In my short experience, I have noticed there are one too many people who don’t like us.

I’ve walked into parties and heard people say, “Shh, the Stater’s here.” In everyday conversations, people say “And that’s off the record,” after every sentence with the same creepy grin.

Guess what? I don’t care if you’re bonging a beer or mastering the ice louge. I don’t care that you accidentally admitted in front of me that you smoke pot daily. So stop thinking you are important enough for me to write a story about you.

I suddenly feel like those smokers who started to smoke to fit in, but now have to go outside alone to do it. My social networks aren’t used to having a reporter among them.

But we are not a cult. We are a group of diverse individuals with our own opinions.

After the Third Eye Blind concert, I was asked, “Are you pissed that we brought them, too?”

I was confused at first why someone would even ask me that because I firmly believe “Semi-Charmed Life” is one of the greatest songs ever created. After the initial confusion, I replied, “uhh no.” “Oh, because we got ripped apart from the Stater for it,” was the response.

There it is again – the Stater.

We have names. Mine is Jessica, and I am not a part of the editorial board. I don’t always agree with everything they have to say. And they don’t expect me or any of you to always agree. That’s why this page is called the Forum. We are here to create a dialogue, to get you thinking, to give you a place to voice your opinion.

The editorial board is, for the most part, made up of different students each semester. So, if you read something you didn’t like last year or something bad was written about you, drop your vendetta and listen to what the new board has to say.

As well as an opinion writer, I am also the Greek life reporter through a class I am required to take for my major. I have gotten used to the rude responses to my questions while I am just trying to get through this class with a decent grade. I’ve gotten used to people not calling me back and actively avoiding me.

Yes, as reporters, we investigate and report scandals. We find and unearth information that otherwise wouldn’t be known. So, shouldn’t you be happy we are here? Happy that we are here to make sure no one is pulling a fast one on you?

We have an obligation as journalists to tell people what’s going on. If you screwing up just so happens to be what’s going on, we have to report it. Don’t hate us for it. It’s not personal. It’s our job. Besides, if you didn’t do anything wrong in the first place, you wouldn’t need to worry about it.

I don’t hang out with my Stater colleagues or the editorial board on weekends. I am my own person. I have my own mind. I have my own opinions. That’s why I became a columnist in the first place.

And I don’t ever want to feel bad about being a journalist again.

Jessica Lumpp is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].