A new semester, a new Forum

Steve Schirra's view

Another spring semester is upon us. Students have returned to their respective dormitories and apartments, the black ice is beginning to claim its territory on the sidewalks and streets of Kent, assuring impending embarrassment for all, and the once-frolicking black squirrels have retreated to the comforts of the trees. This also means a new semester and new staff for the Daily Kent Stater.

I was fortunate enough to have been chosen as the assistant Forum Page editor for this semester’s paper. This came as a bit of a surprise, as I am a biology major. (I’m a biology major for the time being. I plan on changing my major three, if not four times, in an effort to waste as much money as possible.)

I’m a card-carrying member of NPR and PBS. And by card-carrying, I mean I listen and watch both of them (respectively) on a daily basis. This means, of course, that I am liberal. Just this weekend NPR did a piece on hybrid cars –— totally liberal!

I take my editing duties very seriously and began editing almost immediately after I got the job. Just weeks earlier, I corrected a grammatical error on the First Merit Bank Web site. They claimed their hearts “reached out to those effected by the Indian Ocean tsunamis,” when they should be affected, the correct word. After I sent a brief e-mail admonishing them to correct their grave grammar faux pas, they corrected their site the next day. It’s all in a day’s work for an assistant Forum Page editor.

We’re going to be taking risks this semester. Michelle Park and I believe that we have a diverse staff of columnists to offer you views, both conservative and liberal, on a wide variety of issues and topics that were lacking in previous Stater semesters. I, being almost fanatical about satire and social commentaries, am also excited about the new “special” page we will be offering once per month. I shan’t tell you all of the details; I am hoping that it will both surprise and shock you. Be on the lookout for it on the first Thursday of each month.

We have redesigned the Forum Page to include the letters to the editor in a more prominent position on the page. We want you to know that this page is not only a forum for the columnists and the editorial board, but also for you, the students of Kent State, and the surrounding community. I encourage each and every one of you to write to us about whatever’s on your mind. This page belongs to you just as much as it does to us.

I also encourage you to write to the reporters and columnists of this paper. Feedback is an important part of this entire process. As a former columnist, I can’t tell you how much it made my day when someone wrote to say they liked my column or dropped me a note to say I was a complete asshole. At least it meant someone was reading my material.

In closing, I’d like to wish everyone a great semester (except people in my classes — I hope you do poorly so the curve is better). Let’s all work together to make this the best Forum Page ever.

Steve Schirra is a sophomore biology major and the assistant Forum page editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].