The Santa Clara Changes Too Much

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Her Campus SCU nor Her Campus as an organization.


I am a writer. Not a very good one, but a writer nonetheless. As a writer, I love words. I love how each word carries a very specific meaning, yet can differ slightly from person to person. A string of words together can communicate anything; complex emotions, new ideas, stories, history, current events, you name it. Because words can carry very specific connotations and can be used to convey very complex ideas, word choice is crucial. Good writers can convey exactlywhat thoughts they want to express because of their mastery of their language. When certain words are used over others, ideas can be diluted and even misconstrued (shout out to my mom real quick for forcing me to memorize hundreds of SAT words). This is why, as a writer, I spend a lot of time on my word choice because I know exactly what I want said. However, since words differ from person to person sometimes, a second opinion is very valuable. This is where the editor comes in. Editors can suggest changes that they think should be made to better convey the message of the author. The dialogue between the editor and writer is extremely valuable, and when that is missing, I get a little nutty.  


Now, why am I writing this you ask? Well, recently I wrote a piece for The Santa Clara, the campus newspaper. I wrote an opinion piece about a first year being asked to leave the gym because her midriff was exposed. I submitted my piece to the editor and she provided some feedback. I accepted most of it, but denied some of it because I did not want to compromise my style and voice. When the article came out, I noticed a few things. I noticed that chunks of my article were missing. I also noticed the title was changed to a false statement. They even spelled my name wrong. Come on now.   


After this article was published, I decided to simply stop writing for them. Then I interviewed someone else that had written for The Santa Claras opinion section. He expressed to me that the same thing happened to him. His words were changed around only a little, but this affected the entire message of his article. His article was made more malicious, distracting from his argument. He also was not contacted as much as he should have been about the editing process. He said that the important back and forth” between writer and editor was simply not there.   


But thatnot all folksAnother writer friend of mine had a similarexperience with The Santa Claras opinion section. He claimed that they made their own edits to his article without consulting him. He said that it seemed like it took my voice out of the article a little bit and would have been preferable to have received a message before about [] the edits they were thinking of making. He also felt blind to what would appear in the actual paper.   


This terrifies me. I feel like I should know exactly what is going to be printed because it is being printed under my own name. I understand that it is their paper and their job is to edit articles. All I am saying is give us as writers a chance. Collaborate with us, dont just make the edits that you see as necessary and publish it. Engage with us in the important back and forth of editing.   


As The Santa Claras prominence on campus grows, the responsibility for journalistic integrity is even more evident. I hope to see certain changes made so the glorious collaboration between writer and editor can continue unimpeded.