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Conserve-ing your opinion

September 15, 2023 at 4:00:00 PM

Andrew Leibowitz ‘24, Erika Tso Sowah ‘24, and Maria Akaras ’24

The Mercersburg News opinion page is meant to be a space where members of the student body can freely voice their opinions. In recent years, however, the page has fallen short of these standards, which we hope to rectify this school year. Rather than fostering diverse opinions, the page has typically published articles with more “mainstream” perspectives. This is understandable, of course, but true diversity of opinion is key to building an inclusive paper, as well as stimulating difficult conversations. Though we have a student body of varying political opinions, liberal-leaning views have typically been showcased. Past articles have also been rants, rather than adequately evidence-based opinions.

As editors, we hope to change this trend by imploring our peers to share their fact-supported opinions. The line between rumor and fact, as we know, appears blurry at times, but when mere opinions are published, they can be harmful to the rest of the community. As well as promoting varying and even opposing voices, our goal for this year is to publish thoroughly researched opinion articles rather than rants. Essentially, “know before you go.” 

One major focus is to fairly and respectfully elevate conservative voices to bring constructive and informative discussion to campus through the newspaper. Though this initiative has been attempted many times in the past, conservative students have been fearful that their perspectives might be attacked by those in the community who hold opposing views. By promoting both liberal and conservative opinions side by side while also requiring the use of verifiable facts and information to produce informed arguments, we hope to have prominent conservative viewpoints spotlighted more often. 

Many of the issues showcased within our paper are Americo-centric, and we intend to enrich the paper by demonstrating the perspectives of international students on both American and global issues. Another perspective to elevate is that which comes from different grades. Often seniors are the ones writing opinions, thereby underrepresenting viewpoints held by underclassmen. By inviting a mix of students of all grades to write, we hope to ensure that the voices of all Mercersburg students are heard. It is ignorant to assume that a PG has the same worldview as a freshmen. 

In the end, the main purpose of Mercersburg Academy is to bring together a community of talented, thoughtful and intelligent students from around the world. It would be a mistake to not elevate ALL the voices that comprise our community, and the pages of the Mercersburg News are possibly the best place to demonstrate our community’s diversity and strength. 

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