When surveying colleges as an incoming freshman, one tends to take into consideration factors such as athletic facilities, academic rigor and basic amenities such as food, housing and campus environment.

While those are all important factors, last weekend another factor was brought to The Mirror’s attention by a mother of an incoming freshman. When her and her son approached our table at the activities fair, she picked up our latest issue of The Mirror. It was a relatively lighthearted issue, with our front page stories including parking issues, a speaker that had visited the school and a successful Dogwoods 2.0.

As we expected her to ask us exactly what The Mirror does, as most parents do, something different happened. She told us that our front page was rather innocent in comparison to her son’s other prospective schools and that if the newspaper of a school was deemed “obscene,” she would not consider that school for her son.

This thought brought an interesting point to our attention. An institution’s newspaper exposes things that are occurring in the school that the admissions department is not telling you. Take the front cover of this week’s issue, which delves into the marijuana issue on campus and is complimented by a picture of an individual smoking. Imagine that mother’s reaction if our current issue was on display at the activities fair; the University would probably lose that student, as well as possibly numerous individuals who weigh the college paper into their selection process.

Of course, we would hope that stories such as these would not sway a student from attending our University, it is not the responsibility of the journalist to only report on the good that is occurring. We understand that sometimes, individuals will be upset with what we post, but as a journalistic institution, it’s our mission to provide an accurate portrayal of our campus, even if some of the stories dissuade prospective students.

For prospective students, Fairfield is definitely not the only university that is plagued by issues like drugs and alcohol and it’s something that new students will be forced to adjust to in the college environment. Even though kids are often told to look away if things offend them, sometimes we have to open our eyes to these issues and the best way of experiencing your surroundings is by sifting through a college newspaper.

By educating yourself through reading a university’s newspaper about issues that are occurring on campus, prospective students know what they will be dealing with when they go away to school; it won’t come as a surprise. Rather than looking at the newspaper to find the worst things to come, open your mind to the reality of college campuses that runs against the rose-colored glasses that are typically associated with college.

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---Senior| Editor-in-Chief Emeritus--- Marketing

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