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Monday, April 6, 2020

Letter to the Editor: RE: Stop Complaining

Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor is a response to a Western Front editorial.

Dear WWU Editorial Board,

“Stop Complaining” was the worst article I’ve read during my studies at Western. The title of your article is an imperative sentence; a command to the student population – as if your opinions somehow hold a drastic amount of wisdom and that we as students should listen.

Your initial argument is that all students who signed up for summer quarter at Western knew that the courses would be more challenging, so why complain? You then go into an enumeration of what the reader’s life is as a chronic complainer, directly addressing them as “you” rather than referring to the author and reader as a collective “one,” giving your article an extremely aggressive tone unfit for a journalist.

Further, your argument implies that the editorial board has never attempted something challenging at WWU and complained about it. Additionally, it belittles the problems students may currently be experiencing. You may understand how to succeed at WWU during summer – but does everyone else? Is it out of the realm of possibility to consider that venting to a friend helps relieve stress? You imply that personal academic struggles aren’t worth talking about, and that is extremely close-minded.

You then attempt to address the principal flaw in your argument with a flat out untruth:

“Let us assure you, we’re not complaining.”

Here’s Google’s result for definition of complaining:

“express[ing] dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.”

Huh. Google must complain too much, right?

You then say that “sitting around and whining about things is easy,” but that “pushing through your problems… takes real grit,” so we as students should, “stop bitching and moaning and get back to work.” Nice. So let me ask you some questions now.

How is your article even considered work? Is this what you get paid to produce? You hear students complain about school, but rather than delving into the root of the complaints, you brush them all aside as trivial. In essence, you’re complaining about a problem which you haven’t even taken time to specifically define. Instead, you employ a bunch of vague, logically unfounded language to vent your aimless youthful exuberance.

You’re an editor. Go edit. Stop complaining by writing articles. That’s not your job, and it’s not going to magically reduce the amount of editing work your boss is going to give you. /irony

Nicholas Cemenenkoff, junior, math and physics

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