Newspaper needs to maintain class

Dear Editor,

The intended purpose of an institute of higher education is not only to raise the intellectual awareness and overall level of knowledge of its pupils, but also to spur the students’ ethical and moral growth. One used to be able to think that when an individual graduated from college, he had naturally gained a greater sense of principle and virtue through study. However, what The Northerner’s advertisements for Deja Vu, a strip club, say is basically this: In our university, we do not care about the moral standards of our student body. Now, obviously, we know that the university does indeed care about our values because it has instituted an honor code to discourage plagiarism and cheating.

The objection I have to the placement of this advertisement in the newspaper is not an attack on free speech; I firmly support the free expression of ideas. However, I also support the idea that the press has a certain inherent standard to maintain that ensures a sense of reliability and respectability in the medium. As a school newspaper, the main duty of the staff is to provide the readers with an informative and interesting publication. Along with this duty, however, comes the responsibility to carefully review everything within the paper’s pages and make sure that the material inside does not undermine the integrity of the educational institution it ultimately represents. These advertisements do just this, because the vulgarity associated with strip clubs is not congruent with the high aspirations of a university setting.

Arguments for these advertisements fall apart under little scrutiny. The argument that not publishing the ads restricts ideas and, “therefore, … would restrict truth,” as Brianna Bodine wrote, is absurd. One cannot possibly think that all ideas are equally valid and thus equally true. Many ideas are simply perverse or inane. Is it really wise to publish bad or erroneous material and present it as more “truth?” Another argument is that the women in strip clubs are choosing to be there, and thus are not being objectified. OK, so basically, the women are choosing to be objectified. Does the fact that it is their choice make it better? And if the role women play in their own objectification affects the publishing of ads, then can we expect ads for prostitution?

Sure, but only if they’re doing it willingly.

Allen Boxer Sophomore, Music