Letters to the Editor – October 2nd

Dear Editor,

In the article entitled “Oleanna touches on some real issues,” the subtitle states that, “The Aq’s Aly
MacIsaac finds out STU policies on professor-student relations.” From this point on the article is
misleading and poorly written.

The misdirection starts with a subtitle that promises to tell readers what the policies on student-teacher
relations are. However, the only policy actually referred to in the article is a general policy on what
sexual harassment is, and where the proof of burden lies, whether it’s regarding students or professors,
or both, or neither. So at least by this point, the readers have not found out what the STU policies on
professor-student relations are, but only what the sexual harassment policy is. The next paragraph goes
on to say that, “there are policies in place for various relationships between faculty members, students,
and administrative members,” Yet again, readers must be disappointed because no policies are actually
named, or explained at this point, nor are the various relationships described in kind. There is no
other place in the article that addresses policies on student – professor relations. As you can see then,
the subtitle does not describe the purpose of the article at all, unless the only relationship between
professors and students is one of sexual assault, a disturbing proposition.

This article also includes quotations that have little meaning due to their lack of context. For example,
in the fifth paragraph, a former professor and current lawyer is reported to have said that, “the fault is
split between both characters,” without an explanation of the fault for what is. By not knowing that fault
is referred to this comment loses its meaning. The article goes on to quote Maurey in saying “there’s
more than enough blame on both sides.” It is unclear at this point about what Maurey is talking about. Is
Maurey referring to the characters of the play, or any student and faculty member that have a personal
relationship, a problem that should have been prevented by the writer by providing the context of the
quote. Are the,”instances” in paragraph seven referring to sexual-harassment instances, power-struggle
instances, or personal relationship instances? This referent is also not made clear but it does lead into
the above-mentioned sexual-harassment policy at STU, again leaving open the possible implication that
that policy covers all student-professor “instances.”

The lack of a subject as the object of a referent continues to be a problem throughout the article. In
paragraph ten, whatever type of complaint Scarbro hasn’t dealt with often is not clarified. And in the
last paragraph, those referred to as “they” by Robinson are not identified. The article does not clarify
who Robinson thinks fail as humans: sexual assaulters, or professors and students who have personal
relationships, surely a position Robinson would wish to be clear.

Overall, the article is neither well-researched as it does not comprehensively cover, nor even refer to
STU policies specifically governing professor-student relations, nor well-written and I recommend that
the editor raise their standards of publication.


Robin McCourt