Earlier this month, I received an email from a student that expressed strong resentment toward a Blundergrads comic published in the Nov. 16 edition of The Concordian. That comic featured a man in his bed scratching a notch in his bedpost with a knife. The woman next to him comments, “You’re not supposed to literally carve a notch in your bedpost.”
The student that resented this comic wrote that it was inappropriate and did not follow the mission statement of the college. The student was also concerned that people, parents and prospective students would see this comic and get the wrong impression of Concordia.
First, I would like to acknowledge that I agree that the comic does not send into society thoughtfully engaged students. However, no funny comic strip I have ever seen does this, and that’s because comic strips are meant to entertain and give to give people a laugh. I would venture that this purpose was accomplished with many people, and if the comic did not entertain or was offensive to others, that’s fine because there is simply no way to reach every person’s sense of humor.
Every week The Concordian prints a small paragraph on page two that says content in The Concordian does not necessarily reflect the view of Concordia’s student body, faculty, staff or administration. This includes comics. With this, people can rest assured that The Concordian staff acknowledges that, indeed, content the we publish is necessarily their view on the world. Furthermore, this statement can help people outside of the college realize that not everyone within the college agrees with a certain viewpoint.
However, inevitbly, people will judge the college by content in the newspaper. This brings me to the topic that The Concordian, while funded in part by the student activity fee and run by Concordia students, is not a public relations publication for the college. We don’t attempt to put out a positive or negative view of the college, we simple provide information that affects the campus community.
The same is true with any newspaper. When reading an article in the the Fargo Forum that people in the community are fighting or that someone was murdered, it does not enhance our view of the community. Here, The Concordian has published articles that can air on either side of our reputation. Articles from this year include “’Sin is Sin’ t-shirt stirs debate” and “President apologizes.” Depending on a person’s viewpoint, these articles can enhance or detract from the reputation of the college, but the purpose of them is to inform those that may be affected by the issues.
The fact that The Concordian does not attempt to do PR for the college is a huge benefit to our students, faculty and staff because without this, the campus community might miss out on issues they believe are very important and affect them.
As far as comics go, they are not meant to be agreed or disagreed with, or to help or hinder the reputation of the college. They are simply meant to entertain.