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With freedom comes responsibility to think

Aug. 23, 2004

By STEPHANIE FRANKS, editor in chief

My favorite phrase in the English language is 'clean slate,' meaning brand new start. Everything from the past is wiped away.

While a new beginning is such a great feeling, we also tend to forget there is a residue left sometimes from which we learn.

This past year, we all have made decisions we all differ on whether they were right or wrong.

We have had changing relationships which must be mended or left alone.

Now, we are all looking at a year of accountability and change on a national scale and at our own university.

As a student and as a journalist, I took a look at the events that have happened in our generation's time such as the Gulf War, the Clinton investigation, the change in what society deems is right or wrong and now the war in Iraq.

I have learned that with great freedom comes great responsibility to others. Sounds like a certain hero movie, huh?

With that in mind, a clean slate is ready to be written on, and it is The Baylor Lariat.

I'm looking forward to this year where, The Baylor Lariat staff may report to the student body, faculty and alumni these changes and these new looks upon the past.

It took open minds and accountable hearts to make incredible, historical things happen on campus from things like the civil rights movement to Baylor 2012.

It takes students now to look at changes in the present.

It is not our job to determine the solution but to provide you the news and information needed in order to have a clear, well-respected and informed voice in our democracy and at Baylor.

Journalists have the freedom of the press, but, with that freedom, we must start a clean slate everyday with fresh perspectives and honest, factual sentences.

You, as students and U.S. citizens, have the freedom of speech, but with that freedom comes the responsibility to remember whatever you say or do affects more than just yourself.

Your words have an impact on this world and this university. Our professors are right, we are the future leaders.

I encourage each and every single one of us to read the news, analyze it and speak from our informed, thoughtful minds rather than being like the sheep characters in Animal Farm that repeat whatever is said.

What does this mean? Read this paper, analyze the information, hold us accountable. Hold yourselves and our leaders accountable.

This is not only our blessing to have the freedom to do so but it is our duty as Americas as we face this year's elections.

It is also our duty as students to preserve our university's character, traditions and academic reputation.

I look forward to this year with you as the Lariat staff writes upon a clean slate everyday and becomes a forum for thought and reflection.

I hope as college students who are looking at the world in different ways than our childhood, we may all take this national election, our university's vision, and our own actions into great consideration.

Use your voice to say what you think must be done, but please, read, evaluate and think before you speak.

Stephanie Franks is a senior journalism major from Overton.