Letters from the editors – May 1, 2013

by Staff

Letter from the editor in chief:


Fellow Aztecs,

As editor-in-chief of your newspaper, I am ultimately responsible for any and all content that flows on our printed copy or streams through our Web pages. Although I do not read every single article we run on a daily basis, I understand that the responsibility of our message rests on my shoulders.

I want to take this opportunity to tell you, our valued readers and fellow Aztecs, my writers and editors work to provide the best possible content. This is the profession we chose for ourselves and we are proud of the successes we have achieved this year.

Many students from within the SDSU Greek community and associated with it were offended by the article titled “Mob mentality enables substandard values,” which ran on Monday, April 29. Comments were made regarding mob mentalities in Nazi Germany and how easily mob mentalities can occur in other groups, including fraternities and sororities. Having read the article, I understand how a reader could misunderstand that comparison and draw a more crude reference from the passage.

One of the most important aspects of our democracy is freedom of speech.  It is the cornerstone of our society and is paramount to meaningful journalism.  Although we cannot be held responsible for individual or group reactions to opinion columns or articles published by this paper, I, as well as the rest of my team, hold ourselves responsible for the message delivered to our readers. If we write something that isn’t directly attributed to a source and subsequently leave an article too open for interpretation, we, as a news organization, are solely responsible.

We greatly value and respect consistent feedback and always welcome a healthy dialogue with our readers.  We strive to embrace criticism in order to produce a newspaper with integrity worthy of this university.

Most Sincerely Yours,

Antonio Zaragoza
Editor in Chief


Letter from the opinion editor:


San Diego State student body,

A column my section ran this week has generated an unprecedented amount of feedback. In light of this, it is my responsability to clarify what I believe the intent of this column was. The column focused on how mob mentality, which can develop in any situation when groups of individuals live and work closely together for extended periods of time, can be manipulated by the few to the detriment of all.

Nazi Germany is the most heinous example of the horrible consequences of widespread mob mentality. Nothing we witness in the U.S. today even comes close to what happened in Europe during that time, and the writer did not claim this was the case. However, that does not mean we should cease being attentive to the potential perils of groupthink around us.

The writer therefore addressed the incident of a young lady attempting to use her position within her sorority to pressure fellow members into attitudes and actions not in accordance with the standards and expectations Greek organizations have for themselves. The column considered how such an incident, which has garnered nationwide attention, could have ever come to pass, and what led the young lady to believe her email was appropriate.

As the writer said, Greek organizations present many positive opportunities for their members to grow as individuals, but there is statistical evidence that the actions of Greek members are again, not in keeping with their own standards. This does not mean this situation is developing at SDSU. In fact, we can prevent the likelihood of it happening by having honest conversations about it. I have talked to one member from the Delta Gamma chapter at SDSU regarding this issue and how important dialogue is. Again, just because this isn’t happening here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t acknowledge it. We always strive to have varying perspectives in our opinion pages, and the writer in question attempted to contact the Interfraternity Council but was unsuccessful by deadline.

Greek organizations have a huge impact on college students’ lives, and as national organizations, their reach is unparalleled. Therefore, when one of the organizations makes national news in such a negative way, it’s important to ask why it happened and what can be done to prevent it. In the same way we believe feedback from readers and students outside the newspaper makes us better and holds us accountable, we believe external commentary on Greek life makes everyone better and more accountable.

Leonardo Castaneda
Opinion Editor