Response from Tartan alumnae
As alumni and former members of the Tartan’s editorial staff, we were shocked to see an article, “Dudley should not be elected SBVP,” disparaging a Carnegie Mellon student in last week’s Forum. By publishing this article, The Tartan’s leadership has shown a remarkable lack of judgment and has distanced itself from the university community.
When we were members of the editorial staff, we debated about whether to endorse a particular presidential ticket. While we eventually decided to publish an endorsement, the student body was unhappy with our decision, and that is not something to take lightly. The Tartan’s job, as Carnegie Mellon’s student newspaper, is to serve the students and the larger university community.
This piece not only fails to consider the community, but also fails to give Dudley a chance to respond. It fails in professionalism, tact, and collegiality. The Tartan should not publish its negative opinions of former staffers’ performance. The writers note at the beginning of their article that the Tartan typically does not publish stories about itself — there is a reason for this. The Tartan’s job is to report news, not make it.
The opinions of the writers may be valid, but the appropriate forum for these opinions is not in the newspaper, which can never be erased. Rather, they should have taken their concerns to the debates, where Dudley would have a chance to respond and explain the circumstances of her alleged failures, and how she could overcome the challenges that faced her while she held that position.
While we don’t know the details of Dudley’s experience at The Tartan, we do know that the top leadership positions of The Tartan frequently come attached with unrealistic expectations and nasty internal politics. Dudley’s alleged failures as Publisher may not accurately reflect her leadership potential and, in any case, should not be the sole criterion used to judge whether she is qualified for future positions.
Everyone makes mistakes, but most people learn from their mistakes. We’re sure that Dudley has learned from hers, and can only hope that The Tartan learns from its mistakes as well.