Letter to the editor: The Rocket should print more stories regarding environmental matters

Published by adviser, Author: Rebecca Sheriff, Date: April 26, 2016

I am writing in regards to material that has been published in The Rocket as of late, or rather the lack of material.

First I would like to point out that I understand The Rocket is a relatively small student-run newspaper and that the number of writers available for covering events may vary depending on class schedules, event times, and various other commitments. However I am disappointed to see the lack of coverage on events focusing on larger issues that could spark actual intellectual debate on campus.

I would also like to point out that I have been a contributing writer to the Campus Life section of the paper in previous semesters, and that I understand the main focus of The Rocket is to of course cover specific student-interest stories such as new club spotlights, athletic game summaries, social events, etc. However after attending multiple events on campus within the past two weeks without seeing a representative from The Rocket in attendance, events that were certainly worthy of news coverage, I am beginning to question why news stories about a variety of different topics are not being considered.

Take for example the presentation on climate change given by Dr. Richard Alley on April 20. Or perhaps the April 21 “Beehive Design Collective” campaign should be examined, as it discussed the cultural, environmental, and medical implications of coal extraction in Appalachia. Yet another example would be the April 26 screening of the Triple Divide documentary that uncovers the massive fracking industry in Pennsylvania, and how contaminated water violations are being swept under the metaphorical rug by the state and the Environmental Protection Agency.

While Slippery Rock University has been labeled as a “green school” or “sustainable institution” on multiple occasions, very few environmental events have been given news coverage through either the print or online version of The Rocket. While these events are advertised to all students, they should be deserving of at least a brief mention in The Rocket so that the issues discussed can be brought to the attention of the broader campus community.

It’s quite saddening to see a concert be given a total of 2 full pages of coverage, while other important events aren’t even acknowledged. College newspapers should not just be full of stories about what is popular and superficial. I fear that The Rocket is simply seeking to publish stories they know the majority of students will agree with, and not delve into topics that may spur conversations that encourage students to seek out additional information about phenomena that directly influence them and the environment they live in.

Rebecca E. Sheriff

Junior Resort Recreation and Hospitality Management Major


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