The Signpost’s Viewpoint space is an important forum to discuss issues that matter to college students. Balancing a variety of topics — campus life, politics, pop culture, sports, spirituality — is something the Signpost editorial staff prides itself on.
There is, however, a large and looming list of topics that are difficult to address in this forum. The writer is willing, but the editor is weak, unfortunately. For instance, making a statement like “the sale and production of cigarettes should be illegal” is tricky. Many students and staff at Weber State University smoke (as well as a few Signpost staffers). As another example, writing a Viewpoint on drunk driving — for instance, something like “all drunk drivers should be put in prison after their first offense” — is merely an invitation for e-mail complaints.
So, just in case you’ve wondered why there aren’t more controversial viewpoints, here are just some of the editorial topics that we as a staff have done our best to skitter around. Please note that none of these statements directly reflects the views of the Signpost organization. Also, remember that each statement below matches with an equal-but-opposite statement which could be its own Viewpoint. (Please note that some of these topics may have been covered in personal columns by specific staff members before, or may be in the future; the Viewpoint, however, is designed to reflect the general opinion of the editorial staff.)
- Eating meat is murder.
- Guns do kill people.
- Should all 18-year-old citizens be required to vote?
- Should military and government personnel — including teachers — be allowed to strike?
- Government-sanctioned torture is never (or is always) justified.
- Social media is antisocial (this topic isn’t controversial; it’s just way too over-covered).
- College athletes deserve to be paid for services beyond the regular scholarships, given the money they make for their universities.
- People who are annoyed about bilingual programs are merely showing their hidden xenophobic tendencies.
- It should be illegal for a professor to require that students purchase his/her own text for a class that he/she teaches.
- Many college classes are obsolete.
- Many online classes are taught ineffectively.
- Parents who let their babies “cry it out” (self-soothe) are inflicting deep emotional damage on their children.
- Parents who don’t let their babies “cry it out” are enabling their child’s need for attention.
- Parking at Weber State University has become such a mammoth problem that we’ve stopped even noticing it.
- Student evaluations of faculty members should be available online.
- Faculty evaluations of students should be available online.
- The purpose of a university education is only to prepare students to find work after graduation.
- The purpose of a university education is to provide students with a foundational, well-rounded base that prepares them for lifelong learning.
- Anything about abortion.
- Anything about Mormons.
- Attendance should not be a part of any grade, since most students pay for their own educations and have the right to choose whether or not to attend.
- All graduating high school students have a right — not a privilege — to have college paid for by the government.
- If the government paid for students to go to college, most of society’s problems — crime, poverty, etc. — would dramatically decrease.
- Cheating is the result of poor teaching. If an assignment is designed effectively, it is impossible to cheat.
- If citizens are allowed to vote at age 18, they should also be able to drink.