The Opinion page is a place of controversial thought and discourse. It is rarely the moderate thinker or the complacent observer who chooses to write in, as demonstrated by the Jan. 11 letter to the editor that led to the Multicultural Center’s ad purchase in today’s paper. Their impassioned response is valid, just misplaced.

The unconventional route taken to voice this grievance leads us to believe, as editors of the section, that our selection process may be unclear. What is referred to in the ad as “journalism” — which implies investigation, professionalism and objectivity — was nothing of the sort. Honest journalism is expected to be free of bias. The disputed article, a letter to the editor, was presented not as fact or endorsement but as opinion. It was a student submission unaffiliated with the Daily Nexus and its staff; the decision to publish it had nothing to do with our personal beliefs or attitudes toward affirmative action and our fellow students.

To shed light on the shadows beneath Storke Tower, let us explain the editorial process behind each day’s Opinion page. We have a weekly schedule of columns that lay out the framework for our section. The writers of these columns — such as Left Said Right Said, Question Authority, Wednesday Hump, etc. — are employed by the Nexus. The extra space we have is allocated to student submissions. On average, we receive three to five each week and, as of this quarter, publish each one either in print or online.

Depriving the student body of these submissions would, in our eyes, be a form of censorship we choose to wholly avoid. We strive to embody the role of facilitator by allowing your voice to be heard instead of ours, and it is with this mentality that we welcome the controversial as well as the mundane.

We value the Opinion page as a forum for free speech and discourse — and if it weren’t for the consistent flow of impassioned perspectives from our student body, there would be no need for the section. Universities have historically served as venues for heated debate and critical thought; and thus, the Opinion page serves as a reflection of that climate.

We are disheartened by the lack of trust and the misunderstood intentions that led the Multicultural Center to purchase their voice rather than exercise it for free. We would have embraced the opportunity to print the content of the ad on this very page, had we been given the chance. As always, we encourage the input of our student body, and consider it a privilege to provide a sphere for productive dialogue.

Jana Barrett and Jenna Ryan are the Daily Nexus Opinion Editors.