Staff Editorial: Please critique responsibly

The Newswire office has no shortage of snark.

This may be because we’re a bunch of English majors with virtually zero applicable skills aside from verbal sparring. But we have a hard time believing that campus newspaper employees are any more ornery than their peers. In fact, it seems to us that Generation Y as a whole is well-versed in negativity and fluent in sarcasm.

Let’s be honest: it’s easy to be critical. We point out the flaws in professors, assignments, administrators, policies, programs, the budget, campus events, even local apartment complexes.
You’d be lying if you said you’ve never complained about a professor’s personality, lecture style or screechy/monotone/whispery tone of voice. The readings are too long, the exams are too frequent and the syllabus is too disorganized. Our programs aren’t enriching enough, and our Catholic values aren’t Catholic enough. Except when they’re way too Catholic. And come on, how hard can balancing the university budget really be?

Don’t get us wrong — critical thinking and tough questions have their place. But so do gratitude and perspective-taking. (And you thought clichéd Thanksgiving essays were still two months away.)

It’s important to be able to effectively analyze and evaluate the world around us. However, when everything we come across ends up emblazoned with our stamp of disapproval, our opinions begin to sound less like opinions and more like entitled whininess. “Everything in moderation” is a useful maxim when it comes to criticism. As we’ve learned from Yik Yak, not every thought needs to be voiced.

Xavier students attend a quality university with professors and administrators who work to teach us and provide us with ever-increasing resources. The papers we write and the exams we take help us learn things we wouldn’t know otherwise, and we will leave here with an education that most people in the world are never offered. We have opportunities to study abroad, join a club, play a sport or edit a campus newspaper.

For all this, we are immensely lucky. So next time that professor’s grading policy is making you want to tear your own limbs asunder, take a second to think about all the great things Xavier offers us that we so frequently take for granted. Like a quality, holistic education. Or sesame chicken. Mostly sesame chicken.