This past week, The Fordham Ram published “Turn Right” by Brianna Lyman. This opinion article attracted a great deal of controversy due to its conservative stance and radical, hypothetical solution to the issue of illegal immigration. In addition, a few factual errors in the article evaded the editing process at The Fordham Ram.
These errors have been acknowledged by our staff and steps have been taken to ensure a similar mistake does not occur again.
However, despite these issues, The Fordham Ram still stands by publishing this writer’s opinion in our paper.
We at The Fordham Ram would like to address the criticism and explain exactly why we support the First Amendment right to freedom of speech on our opinion pages.
As the school’s official newspaper, The Fordham Ram has an obligation to offer op-ed space to a all members of the Fordham community, even those expressing unpopular views in the eyes of the majority of the student body.
It is an American tradition to publish unpopular opinions, stretching back to the very first newspaper in the American colonies in 1690. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were enshrined in our Bill of Rights specifically to strengthen our country by allowing free expression.
The Fordham Ram upholds centuries of American tradition when we support the First Amendment by publishing articles that cause a debate.
Given the huge amounts of web traffic generated by these recent conservative op-ed pieces, such as “Check Your Liberal Privilege” by Ryan Quinn (Dec. 7, 2016), which has generated about 24,000 clicks on our website to date, we can say that The Fordham Ram has succeeded in increasing political dialogue on campus.
The student body at Fordham is largely liberal, so our newspaper mostly publishes liberal opinion articles.
Conservative Fordham students, however, should have equal opportunity to share their views, despite being a minority on campus.
The Fordham Ram accepts and will continue to accept opinion articles from everyone — students, faculty, alumni, administrators and anyone with a campus connection. If Fordham students or other readers are unhappy with opinion articles published in The Fordham Ram, we encourage them to submit op-ed pieces with counter-arguments or letters to the editor.
The Fordham Ram is also committed to creating a safe space for members of the community to express their views.
At times, the reactions of students to some recent articles on our website and social media have made the writers feel as if they are under personal attack.
Name calling and online bullying do not foster a forum that encourages productive conversation. We call upon the student body to be more civil and open themselves up to constructive discussion.