Sunday, December 17, 2006
Then she said....

Dear Kathryn Smith,

First off, I would like to apologize for not responding to your email sooner. I am sure you know how busy a student's life can be during finals.

Next, I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. It is good to know that we at the Journal are putting out a paper that people actually read.

I would also like to thank you for voicing your evidently strong opinion in regards to my article. However, I feel that you took too much personal offense to my message instead of taking note of the positive words I included regarding student employees.

I also feel the need to inform you that if you ever care to come down to the Journal office (located just off to the left of the Living Room in the Student Center) and offer some of your expertise on competent writing and effective grammar skills, we would greatly appreciate your services. Unfortunately, none of us have yet to perfect our writing skills and are always looking for help.

Once again, Thanks so much for your time and I hope that you continue to read the Journal next semester.

Happy Holidays, hope you are enjoying your Christmas break!

Thank you, Samantha Arnold

"None of us have yet to" indeed.

I think I won...

Monday, December 11, 2006
Thou shalt NOT piss off the Katy, lest thou get smote
In the University Journal last week, an article appeared that had me ALL kinds of annoyed. So today I responded with this:

Ms. Arnold,
I recently read your editorial piece titled "SUU workers need attitude lift". I must say, as a student employee of Southern Utah University, I took some offense.

I am going to try and avoid critiquing your writing "style" and I'll do my best to avoid correcting grammatical errors. I do find it interesting however that a JUNIOR communications major and a "senior staff writer" for the University Journal has such a difficult time stringing together a coherent sentence, let alone a coherent article. An article that demeans the hundreds of student employees currently working for Southern Utah University should be handled with extra care.

We, as you stated, provide a service to our fellow students. On top of studying for tests, doing mountains of homework and taking care of paperwork that, heaven forbid, you have to fill out yourself, most of us have not been in our jobs long enough to know all of the intricate details that go into running a university. Our employment by nature is temporary. Those employees that stay any length of time (I myself have been employed here far longer than the norm) glean the opportunity to learn more with every passing year. Unfortunately, many of my counterparts spend a brief semester with us and move on, making it impossible to give them the kind of training they need.

By the time student employees are competently trained, they move home for the semester or simply move on to greener pastures. Our employees are in high demand in the community BECAUSE of the training they receive by working at SUU. Community employers know that we are well-trained, competent young people and are able to make us offers few could refuse. The university's general job placement for graduates should be evidence as to the excellent adults that are educated here. Part of that education is student employment.

There is also the issue of confidentiality and level of responsibility. I personally, have never dealt with you, but I do deal with fellow students. One of the hurdles my superiors and I face, is how much information I am actually allowed to have. There are things in my records that I wouldn't want other students to have full access to, not because of any mistrust, simply because of self preservation. Maybe the problem you faced wasn't a lack of ability but simply an inability. The level of student employee responsibility is restricted by the university. Not only to protect you as a student, but to protect me as a student employee. I wouldn't want the kind of responsibility my superior has, especially for the salary I make.

For your own future reference, when publicly degrading other people's competence, it is a good idea to make sure you yourself appear competent. Otherwise you will be left appearing the fool and no one will ever take you seriously.

Kathryn Smith

Take that!