Opinion vs Complaints: feedback’s place

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After reading the Opinion section every week, I can’t help but wonder if opinions have become synonymous with complaining. Although the Archway prides itself in its quality newspaper, our writers are neither professionally trained nor paid journalists. The lack of journalistic backgrounds does not mean that the newspaper should be used as an outlet for any and all complaints on this campus. 

Millennials, especially Bryant students, have a reputation of being the first to complain about anything mildly annoying or inconvenient. Personally, I studied abroad in France last semester and our group of 17 students became known by school administration for constant complaints and unhappiness. Study abroad can be a very extraneous experience outside of your comfort zone, but it speaks wonders about our campus culture that Bryant students were unable to find many positives in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

In many ways, this Bryant culture of complaining is not our fault. We enter Bryant as freshmen and conform to the already established norms and behaviors. We act how we have been taught by upperclassmen, who set the standard for campus conduct each year. Unnecessary complaining has become a part of Bryant, passed down each year, that we just can’t escape. We love to bash on Salmo, the parking situation, residence halls, terrible professors, and more.  

So, does this mean there is no hope for the Opinion section? Sometimes these complaints are nit-picky, because it is easy to be negatively passionate. Other times, they are valid and we welcome them with open arms and, most importantly, feedback. The main difference between an opinion and complaining is providing feedback to improve the situation. It is important to let those who could actually change what you disapprove of know how. These people read the Archway and they are listening to what you have to say. 

Opinions also do not always have to be negative, because the world is far too destructive already.  The Opinion section could be used as a means to support the things we love. Stop to appreciate what is going well and if it’s not, recommend what can be done to fix it, within realistic and feasible means. Tell us your game plan if you were in charge. Frankly, if you do not think you could do it better, then do not complain. From this point forward, I challenge all students to share their opinions in this section and to let us know your game plan. Please leave your off-hand complaints for your friends, and let’s enact some positive and constructive change.  

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