One of my biggest pet peeves is when people speak about an issue they are not educated on. I have always believed that, until I knew all sides to every story, I would not form an opinion, because an assumption based on only half of the facts is not a well crafted idea. There is a lot of news in this world, and between biases and other influences, it is so easy to see only one side of the story on almost every occasion. Screw that. News is about educating yourself on every side of the story, and as the executive editor of The New Hampshire, I plan to stick to that mantra.
In this issue, News Editor Madison Neary wrote a piece about nine staff resignations at the Counseling Center during the 2016-17 academic year which can be found on page A1. Neary did a fantastic job, in my opinion, of representing both sides of this story. She spoke to Senior Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ted Kirkpatrick, as well as a few of the previous staff members of the Counseling Center in order to educate our readers on both sides of the story.
I am aware that it is extremely easy to jump to conclusions about what may have happened during this transitional period due to the striking number of resignations, but I still I hope you go into reading that story with an open mind, no matter your preemptive judgements.
I know that backlash toward the current Counseling Center staff may be strong from the students, faculty and community members involved due to the touchy nature of these subjects, which I can understand. But I hope that this backlash is strong because they have read the story, asked the questions and done their fair share of investigating before jumping to conclusions about what is happening behind the scenes of this struggle.
I am not a member of the Counseling Center staff. I am not the senior vice provost of students affairs. I was not involved in the situation at hand, so I feel as though I cannot say for sure who is right or wrong in this situation, nor do I think it is my place to.
I know that, with the facts I have been presented from both sides, it seems as though the Counseling Center is struggling through this transition, which has caused discrepancy with staff members and led to resignations. I also know that counseling at universities in general is extremely important due to the immense amount of struggles college students face. Without a well functioning Counseling Center, our school will suffer. This is why I think it is all the more reason to stick together during hard times like this, not tear each other apart. Pointing fingers will not get us anywhere, and it certainly will not fix the situation going on with our counseling services at this school.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and being able to express these opinions is one of the things that makes this country great. (Heck yeah to the first amendment, am I right?) But make sure that your opinion is based off of all of the facts, not just the ones you want to hear, and that you use your opinion to strengthen others around you and fix the problems at hand rather than using it to prove that you are right.
So ask questions to all parties, listen to all answers and put the education you are blessed to be getting to good use. And always remember, like film producer Robert Evans said, “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side and the truth.”
Follow Colleen on Twitter and Instagram @thrutheirvine