Mailbag: Letters to the editor for the week of Feb. 19, 2018

Here are the letters to the editor we received for the week of Feb. 19, 2018. Letters can be submitted to

Weighing in on the paper’s name

Note: This is in response to a letter to the editor from last week.

I have always liked the name of the newspaper. I hear professor Glimm’s thoughts, but I think his background gives him a narrow view of the term Western Front. It was not just used in WWI, but WWII as well and likely other contexts than war. I don’t know what was in the mind of the student who proposed the name, nor the students that voted for it long ago. To me the name calls to mind several things 1. Western -a nod to our school name 2. Front -is a meterological term -warm front, cold front, that for me brings to mind the newspaper bringing in new information as a front brings in new weather, and 3. together Western Front marks our place on on the west coast of the USA -our country’s “western front”. The book and term are well known, but I don’t think we should limit the pairing of the two words to the western edge of WWI.

Ellen Kuhlmann

1994 Alumnus, M.S. Biology

Mailbox illustration by Hunter Smith.


Letters to the editor are not necessarily the opinion of The Western Front. The Western Front is committed to publishing letters to the editor from the community, as long as they meet the paper’s editorial standards. For more information on letters to the editor, or to submit a letter, contact


  • I just saw this letter and would like to thank Ms Kuhlmann for her measured reply. She is right: I indeed was not aware that most people do not share my immediate connotation of “Western Front” with the eponymous theater in WW1. It’s a relief that at least the name is not primarily perceived as a pun by most.

    The editors at the time were very aware of the military connection though. On the every first edition of the “Western Front” on Oct 10, 1967, they announced the new name of the paper as follows: “The Western Front” was overwhelmingly victorious in the battle to rename Western’s student newspaper last week.” I still don’t think it’s an appropriate name for a student newspaper that wants to be taken seriously.

  • I always thought of the name as a the front for WWU news, as in what is out and front.

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