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Leah’s Lens: #TBT, The Appalachian style

Leahs+Lens%3A+%23TBT%2C+The+Appalachian+style
Kaitlyn Close

The Appalachian has been around for 90 years and has evolved in many ways; more writers, better coverage, longer papers and an online version. However, there are some things that remain the same, no matter how long it has been. The Appalachian has always wanted its readers to pitch in, with letters to the editor being a prominent part of the paper then and now. 

From the 1930s to now, there have been letters to the editor that remain true to this day. Ranked in order of relevance and current newsworthiness, here are nine examples, one from almost each decade The Appalachian has existed. 

 

#9: April 2, 2014 – “There is another side to the climate change debate”

The letter begins with the sentence, “Climate change is a myth that has zero evidence.” It is ranked last.

#8: Sept. 8, 1981 – “Soccer Team Says Thanks To Fans”

Since May 2020, App State has not had a men’s soccer team. This letter was written by Walter Bowling, co-captain of the team at that time, thanking the fans for showing their support at the game against Clemson University. This Letter to the Editor is ranked eighth due to the nonexistence of the soccer team.

#7: Oct. 30, 1953 – Gratitude from a transfer student

Transfer students are a large part of the App State community. In Fall 2021, there were 1,524 new transfer students, and the community continues to grow. The letter to the editor shows gratitude towards other students for being friendly to transfer students and treating them with the same respect. While important, it is impossible to look at a student on campus and immediately know whether or not they are a transfer student, so as long as you are simply a nice person, it is a moot point. Therefore, this letter is ranked seventh.

#6: Oct. 9, 1934 – Respect alumni

Homecoming is still quite the shindig on App State’s campus, and alumni are greeted with open arms. This Letter to the Editor calls for all current students to make alumni feel welcome as the Homecoming crowd comes to town. There are many events during Homecoming weekend on campus in which alumni are honored and treated like family. It is second nature to current App State students to welcome all alumni for the Homecoming festivities, putting this Letter to the Editor at number six.

#5: Dec. 17, 1948 – Lack of sportsmanship

The letter from 1948 criticizes App State students for their lack of respect at football games, specifically the Guilford game. The writer, a student, encourages his fellow students to exhibit more sportsmanlike activity, such as not booing at the referees.

App State students during football games are a force to be reckoned with, and certainly do not hide their opinions regarding the game. Perhaps booing referee decisions could be considered a bit much, but it has become a common feature of football game culture. At the end of the day, students are rooting for their Mountaineers in whatever way they deem fit. Due to the normalcy of potentially unsportsmanlike acts at games today, this Letter to the Editor is ranked at number five.

 

#4: Sept. 19, 1963 – “East Sardine Hall?”

The headline really says it all — multiple seniors submitted this letter to the editor to air out their frustration regarding the lack of communication between administration and students about East Hall. The students say that while most of them signed up with one roommate, some rooms in East Hall were holding three residents. The year 1963 is not the last time that East Hall has undergone fairly major changes with little to no warning; imagine the students’ surprise if they knew that East Hall was made into office spaces in 2022. While the sentiment has not changed over the years, East Hall certainly has, putting this letter at number four.

#3: Jan. 26, 1973 – “A victim speaks”

Donald Secreast brings up the issue of App State’s food services in the early 70s in this letter to the editor, noting things such as hair in his food, uncooked pasta and roaches on plates. While it is not a published letter, there is now an Instagram page for people to submit photos of their disastrous experiences with App State dining, showing multiple of the same issues discussed by Secreast. The account has not posted since February of 2023, perhaps insinuating the food situation has improved. Nevertheless, it has remained a pressing issue in the last couple years, making this letter number three.

#2: March 14, 1996 – “Parking deck not the answer”

This Letter to the Editor came out almost 28 years ago, yet still rings true today. Former professor Harvard Ayers, urges App State to turn to different methods, such as not giving parking passes to freshmen and using the money for public transportation and improved pedestrian pathways. A new parking deck is in the process of being built behind Holmes Convocation Center, making it the third on campus. Though most freshmen park in the Appalachian 105 lot now, the rest of his frustration would be echoed today, making this letter the second-most relevant.

#1: Feb. 13, 2020 – “Defining consent”

It is no surprise that the most relevant letter to the editor is the most recent, especially with it being about such an important cause. The writer, Kat Ward, discusses exactly what consent is and what it is not. In short, anything other than a firm “yes” is not consent. Ward then goes on to bring attention to the ‘#MeToo’ movement, as well as the issues with the ‘Consent is Sexy’ movement. This letter is still extremely important, with nonconsensual activities still being far too common and too many excuses being made. Not only does it take the spot for most relevant, it should also be common knowledge.

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About the Contributors
Leah Boone, Opinion Editor
Leah Boone (she/her/hers) is a junior chemistry major. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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