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Saturday, October 31, 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Response to new student demographics

Dear News Editor,

I have been alienated by your newspaper. As a former newspaper editor myself, I was delighted to pick up a copy of the Western Front on my first day here. I sat down to read it, filled with anticipation, opened the first page, and my stomach twisted with discomfort.

To be fair, The Western Front is a quality newspaper. The writing is good, the editing is top notch, and the content is well thought out. However, the demographic information on page 2 of your news section [of the Welcome Back edition] was brief, inconsiderate, and appeared to me to be just plain lazy. The demographics offered are about the large freshman class; assumed gender, academic interests, permanent residence locations, and race.

While I understand the intent of this cute little coloring book style information page, it is both rudimentary and insufficient.

You have successfully alienated biracial people, intersex people, transgender people, and gender nonconforming individuals. The graphic describing freshman student’s sex is a male/female, Venus/Mars symbol. While these symbols are frequently used to denote this information, they were not necessary in this context.

Were you aware that there are the same amount of intersex people as there are redheads in our country? Did you know that 9 billion people in the US identify as multiracial? Were you aware that there are an estimated 700,000 transgender people living in the United States? Did you choose to willingly ignore these facts and disenfranchise these parts of our student body?

Regardless of why this section made it to print, it seems lazy, disingenuous, and ignorant to me.

Sincerely,

Emily Clark

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