Dear Flipside staff and readers,
What is going on?
A respectable publication that once saw students and community members engaging in compelling discussions has become a hodge-podge of half-baked short stories and mediocre poetry, with only a smattering of visual art to redeem it. In recent months, The Flipside’s endeavor of “providing an… outlet and forum on the UW-Eau Claire Campus” and “reflecting on news, perspectives, and opinions on local, national, and international issues” to “develop participatory democracy,” has repeatedly failed. One need only pick up an edition from this past semester to confirm my accusations, and I am not the only one who holds these opinions.
I would like to call to memory a series of issues published in the spring of 2012, under the editorial leadership of Kayla Johnson and Briana Bryant. An article titled “Man-Up Pro-Choicers” sparked a written debate which lasted nearly the entire semester and featured responses from both pro-lifers and pro-choicers. In addition, a March issue featured an article criticizing both sides for allowing emotions to water down the quality of their works; it went so far as to declare high school students as better writers and accuse many submitters of sounding like “uneducated fools.”
Recent issues have unfortunately not lived up to their predecessors, but instead have left The Flipside a shell of its former self. Look closely at any issue published this semester. The writing lacks true depth and inspiration, and beyond that there are spelling, syntax, and punctuation errors in abundance. It seems that neither submitters nor staff takes the time to edit submissions before putting them to print.
There must be a change.
To the students of UWEC: while short stories and poems are wonderful, other school publications exist solely for them. Submit articles, no matter how controversial. It’s only then that a real and essential dialogue will begin. Edit your work; be thoughtful and thorough. We are college students, after all.
And to Mary Jo Kozol and her editorial staff: you are meant to be the final quality screening. Correct spelling and syntax errors, reject submissions that don’t meet standards, and offer honest feedback. Only then will we see improvement. The Flipside reaches far beyond our campus and represents us as a student body. Let us show our community that students are intelligent adults capable of creating compelling works rather than amateurs solely publishing for affirmation.
Quotes are taken from the Flipside Mission statement as well as the March 2012 issue of the Flipside. Criticism is relevant primarily to the spring 2017 issues.