MANILA, Philippines – The Varsitarian‘s counterparts have spoken on the paper’s controversial editorial.
A day after the University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s The Varsitarian criticized pro-Reproductive Health (RH) Bill professors from Ateneo and La Salle, the official school publications of the two universities released separate statements criticizing the UST paper.
UST students ‘deserve far better’
In an opinion piece entitled “Our duties as student journalists,” The Guidon lambasted the UST paper for short-changing its readership.
“Unless The Varsitarian truly believes that its audience is purely uncritical, the paper owes it to that audience to treat them as thinking adults who can distinguish well-reasoned arguments from unsound drivel.
“The students of the University of Santo Tomas deserve far better, and the first step The Varsitarian can take is to honestly, sincerely and critically reevaluate itself. Perhaps it is high time for The Varsitarian to point its penchant for impassioned critique unto itself and hopefully establish itself as a publication worthy of its readers’ respect,” said the official student publication of the Ateneo de Manila University.
The Guidon said that the Varsitarian‘s editorial was riddled with “logical fallacies, factual errors, and distasteful ad hominem attacks against RH bill supporters among the faculty of both Ateneo and La Salle,” and called it an “unfortunate stain” on the paper’s long history.
The paper also brought up another controversial Varsitarian opinion piece involving Ateneo — a 2008 editorial which called 14 pro-RH Ateneo professors “Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
“The Varsitarian may be the official student newspaper of a pontifical university, but it is still a student newspaper. The stands that it must make are not exempt from the basic expectations of respect, decency and logical sense—valid demands on any credible publication.”
The Guidon had earlier made a stand in favor of the controversial RH Bill, while calling on pro- and anti-RH proponents to avoid “dismissive language” in the RH debate.
RH ‘deserves constructive discourse’
In their opinion piece “With all due respect,” meanwhile, The LaSallian hit back at the way The Varsitarian wrote the controversial “RH bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards.” The LaSallian is one of the official school papers of the De La Salle University.
“In our opinion… the method of expression used to express the matter veered away from the real issue, while creating new and unnecessary ones,” The LaSallian said.
In the editorial, the La Salle student paper called on the public to stick “to the issues, and backing conclusions with substantial, objective arguments.”
“This is the nature of sincere rational dialectic. We advocate constructive discourse, and the search for truth that Catholic Universities so aspire for can, in our opinion, be only attained through issue-oriented critical thinking.”
The LaSallian also clarified its decision to not take a stand on the divisive RH Bill.
“We respected, and we continue to respect, every person’s right to have his or her own informed opinion, including our individual editors and staffers.”
“We did not feel the need to impose any stance to support or refuse a bill that would blatantly disregard the stances of some of our editors and staffers,” the paper said.
Lemons and cowards
In the op-ed that went viral Monday, October 8, The Varsitarian called pro-RH professors from Ateneo and La Salle “intellectual pretenders and interlopers.”
The Varsitarian, through its adviser Lito Zulueta, said that it upholds its stance against the RH Bill but apologized for the article which he said may have been “un-Christian.”
UST, meanwhile, distanced itself from the paper’s criticism of the pro-RH professors. -Rappler.com
Read up on related stories:
- UST disowns Varsitarian’s stance vs ‘lemons, cowards’
- The Guidon: Stay away from ‘dismissive language’ in RH debate
- Varsitarian slams pro-RH Ateneo, DLSU profs
- La Salle, Ateneo papers slam Varsitarian editorial
For more updates on the RH Bill, check out our #RHBill Debate Microsite.
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