Staff Editorial

Last week, we voiced a concern in our staff editorial that students at Lawrence do not utilize all of the opportunities they have to take part in campus debate. This week, we received several letters to the editor about a variety of issues, and we are enthused to see a greater level of involvement.
Many of these letters to the editor were written in response to a column that appeared in last week’s Op-Ed section, a column that many readers found to be inflammatory. The responses were varied in their content, but they were uniformly respectful in their tone.
However, over the past weekend, the writer of the said column was the target of verbal and physical harassment.
The harassment is particularly concerning because this is not the first time one of our contributors has been threatened. We continue to find reactions like these to be wholly unacceptable. We are both shocked and saddened that this sort of behavior would take place at Lawrence.
The views expressed in an article and the author are two separate things. No matter how much a person disagrees with an expressed opinion or how offensive a person perceives a viewpoint to be, physical and verbal intimidation are never justified under any circumstance.
Fortunately, this type of behavior was an exception among those who disagreed with the contents of the column. Many people chose to respond in a more appropriate manner by replying in the comments section of the online edition of the paper or submitting a letter to the editor.
We are glad that many readers who found the article disquieting chose to take this route. A healthy community is one in which opposing views can be voiced, heard and discussed in an open and respectful manner, and we at The Lawrentian. strive to provide a forum for doing so.
This paper is meant to serve the needs of the campus and the greater Lawrence community. The feedback we receive from readers and community members is instrumental in how we accomplish this goal. If you have any comments, suggestions or criticisms in response to an individual article or to larger aspects of the paper, we are happy to receive them.
We very much appreciate the efforts of engaged community members to strengthen our community through considerate discussion.
Though we may not be able to respond to each point, the contents of each letter will be taken into account and will help this paper better meet the needs of the community. These pages are not meant to be a podium for a few, but a forum for many.