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Opinion: Transparency important in Buckeye-enthralled campus culture

It’s hard to describe the feeling of having only two finals, one paper, one bar crawl and a walk across the field in Ohio Stadium left of my time at Ohio State. It didn’t sink in that I was actually leaving when I applied for graduation or picked up my cap and gown, but here on my last day putting out a newspaper as Editor-in-chief of The Lantern, it is finally starting to feel real.

I’ve dedicated a lot of time during my college career to The Lantern — about 2 1/2 years to be exact. During that time, there have been many sleepless nights, studying for exams I wasn’t prepared for, or in the worst of times, a campus blackout that led to the Journalism Building losing power and having to drag computers and hard drives to the SEL after midnight.

Over the course of the time I’ve spent in The Lantern newsroom, I’ve met plenty of people who don’t like our newspaper and what we stand for. They think we try to write things that make the university look bad when, as a student newspaper, we should be highlighting the great things that happen on campus.

I’m writing this to tell you that isn’t the point. The Lantern is intended to be the first record of history at OSU, for better and for worse. We work to serve our audience and provide them with the information that, as students, faculty and alumni, they deserve to have access to. We aim to fight for transparency within the administration, the Undergraduate Student Government and every “task force” OSU can come up with.

This year, The Lantern wrote extensively about OSU’s private contracts with Huntington Bank, Nike, Coca-Cola and CampusParc. We obtained performance reviews for athletic coaches and university leaders, because the community deserves to see what these individuals are like when they aren’t in front of an audience. We covered a student-reported incident of sexual harassment that led to the firing of two assistant coaches, and later, the head coach who failed to report it.

We covered OSU’s private search for a new university president — and eventually broke the news that it would be Dr. Michael Drake. We have covered where OSU is spending its money, where the money is coming from and how it’s being spent. Because if we don’t search for this information, who will?

If you only ever want to read things that will reinforce your views and not force you to think critically about the university, then The Lantern isn’t the publication for you. But if you want a realistic picture of what is going on, good and bad, you have found a group of students who want the same.

You don’t have to like The Lantern, but you should at least respect it, because you never know what you don’t know.

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