As I take on the role of editor in chief of The Bottom Line next semester, I am faced with the loss of perhaps a total of four columnists. I will miss my writers, but perhaps the change is a good one. TBL, in many aspects, has been far too opinionated in the past few years.
Student newspapers at small universities face a big challenge: How do you draw readers in with solid, interesting material without miming University PR? When there is no local news happening, where do you turn?
In the past, TBL has turned to columnists to provide interesting material through social commentary & political opinions. This is fine and good; I think many students feel they have been represented by these writers. But just as many have felt alienated by them. New columnists have a tendency to "fly off the handle" about issues, and in the process, destroy any credibility they might have had.
So the loss of so many columns provides me with new opportunities. I have a great staff who can think creatively as a team, and are willing to concentrate their efforts on feature writing and solid argumentation.
Plus, it leaves room for The Voltage Gate to be printed as a weekly science column, highlighting university research and tackling contemporary issues in science every week.