I am writing you concerning the article that was shared on your website involving four USM students during spring break. I do not believe that the public should see .03 percent of our students as a representation of our student body. The front page of your website showed a mug shot of one of our current students. I’m not so sure that we would like incoming students or future employees of our noble institution, that are looking for information, to see a student’s mug shot from Florida publicized everywhere.
Three of the students mentioned only received MIPs, a common charge among college students. While I understand that freedom of speech and press is open to anyone, I ask you to consider what was gained by sharing this article involving students who made youthful mistakes while on their first college spring break.
I also understand that you received your information from a news source where the incident occurred, but you, the Student Printz, the newspaper that represents The University of Southern Mississippi’s students, chose to reveal to the world that they attend our beloved university. I cannot understand why a newspaper, that represents our university and should want to shed positive light on our institution, would share an article about .03 percent of our students who made a mistake while not under our school’s supervision. Without your article, these individuals, who very well could be great people and students, have no association with us. You are the reason for our negative publicity.
Finally, I would like to share some of the awesome stories I’ve heard from spring break and give shout outs to several groups who represented us with utmost class. None of these groups were publicized on your website at the time of their actions and all of them involved more than four students. Our women’s basketball team played for a conference championship and lost a heart breaker in the last few seconds; my family was in attendance, you were not. The Pride of Mississippi placed first overall in the Limerick Parade in Ireland. Mission trips were taken by many of our campus organizations including a group from Venture Church to Haiti, Campus Crusades for Christ (CRU) to New York, and the Catholic Student Association to North Dakota. The Luckyday Scholars also took a trip to San Francisco. We also had students skiing, hiking the Appalachian Trail, teaching in Canada, on a cruise in the Caribbean, meeting Mickey Mouse at Disney World, exploring India, visiting graduate schools and law schools and many other students who had successful trips to the beach.
While posting articles in order to get website hits is important to media outlets, the effects they could have on people and our university could be detrimental. Let’s post this letter, share it on social media, and provide the public with positive publicity for The University of Southern Mississippi.
A Proud Student
The University of Southern Mississippi
Like all newspapers, it is an instrument of public education and democracy, the source of information, which a community must have to wisely govern itself. It is a mirror and a lamp: it reflects the community to itself and to a larger public; it shines light on the good and evil its members do. It is a source of entertainment, a friend of culture and the arts.
-The Student Printz Code of Ethics