Every morning, on the way to my ridiculously early biology class, I make sure to stop by a newspaper stand and grab a copy of the Daily Nexus. It is such a privilege for the students of this university to be regularly informed of the goings on within our community, state and world. We don’t even know how lucky we are to have a daily paper just for us, where passionate writers can express themselves and readers can get connected with the world around them. I have also discovered that it’s some handy reading material to turn to if the effects of the 8 a.m. lecture begin to overpower my will to remain conscious.
However, despite all its merits, I must confess that every time I turn the page and see the “Dear Igor” column, I am heartily disappointed with and even ashamed of the Daily Nexus. I remember that the first time I read this paper, before I had visited UCSB, it gave me the impression that the school was peopled by drunkards, substance abusers, sex-addicts and loose women. This factor was at the top of my “cons” list while I was making my final decision about whether or not I would choose this university. But when I arrived here, I found that much of the student population consists of dedicated, hard-working and responsible individuals who take care of themselves and respect others. Contrary to widespread belief, the majority of the students I know don’t have a different partner in their beds every weekend, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet seen anyone having sex in the library. I am also acquainted with many people who seldom party and who drink very responsibly or not at all.
I feel that we as students at UCSB are being grossly misrepresented by the “Dear Igor” column and other writers who use obscene language and insulting remarks. People outside UCSB like our parents, community members and friends have read this paper and been appalled and offended. It gives us as UCSB students a bad reputation. In addition to this, Igor has personally insulted — even if he does not use the names of — multiple students and even parents who write to him by publishing their words and writing offensive responses. It is bad enough to abuse students from our own population at this university, but the blatant verbal assault of UCSB parents should not be tolerated. I am ashamed to be known as a UCSB student when such articles are printed and distributed to our communities and even sent to our parents’ homes.
It is the artists: the sculptors, dancers, photographers and actors, but especially the musicians and writers that shape a culture. The media we are exposed to are the primary templates for what standard of life we accept, or even expect. Articles that are all about sex, drinking and wild parties desensitize us, leading to compromise after compromise. For some, sex is now very nearly a recreation, and getting hopelessly wasted is considered the norm, at least on the weekends. Maybe you yourself don’t participate at this level, but it doesn’t likely shock you when you overhear a person in math class on Monday bragging about his or her horrible hangover and hot hook-ups.
Many students I know do not read the Daily Nexus particularly because they don’t want to subject themselves to the repulsive material or support the offensive columns that frequent its pages. While there are students who do live wild, reckless lives, there are many more who lead reasonable, decent ones. By restricting or removing the obscene articles that encourage or make light of irresponsible lifestyles, we will not only cease to perpetuate that culture, but we will also begin to promote a better image for UCSB and a better reputation for its students. The bottom line is this: We love our school, and we want the writers at the Daily Nexus, who represent the whole student body, to portray a university community made up of the intelligent, responsible, dedicated and respectful students that we are.
Please help us to fight for our image so that outsiders will see the majority of upright, good students and not the minority of foolish ones. If you want to make a difference, please go to www.dailynexus.com, create an account and leave comments on the articles, stating your opinion.