The response to the Subterranean has been almost invariably quite good. We are gratified that so many members of the community, while not exactly agreeing with the principles of the writers, agreed with the principles of the editors. We always seek to emphasize our stake in free speech and free enterprise for this glorious nation.
Of course, we are aware that many members of various campus organizations are quite disturbed. And they should be -- the first edition dealt with so many different issues, and combated so many different groups from such an imperious stance that readers could not help but ask, “What right do they have to slander us so?” The student body president repeatedly stressed that he thinks it inappropriate that the editors are publishing such a paper, especially from the standpoint that one is a student council member. His grounds, of course, were that these complaints should have gone to the council first.
But it is an acknowledged and well-known fact at Menlo that students generally do not have the willpower to express their views, for fear of some mythical evil they envision hovering overhead. They do not feel that the community, especially the council’s community, feels any compassion for their ideas. It is this group, of perhaps 10, probably 20 or 30 or 40, or even 100 (half of the copies of the first edition) that needs such a forum. It is this group that needs representation. These people would never take their ideas before the council, either for lack of time, or for lack of knowledge, or resources, or the simple ability to speak, or lack of courage to overcome fear of speaking before an unknown group of peers. These people must be protected, represented, and their ideas must be brought before the whole school.
As of today, the Subterranean, not the Student Council, provides that forum for communication, the professed goal of that council. The Subterranean will publish their articles, anyone’s articles, and will publish them, juxtaposed with their opponents’ responses. In this fashion, the Subterranean hopes to achieve the goal of providing a forum in which a student might express his or her views easily and of establishing the opportunity for as much representation of the wide variety of ideas at Menlo as possible, a feat which no organization at Menlo has achieved with even moderate success.
But it will not demonstrate favoritism, nor will it demonstrate a clear bias. The Subterranean is not propaganda; rather, it is intended to be the community’s looking glass, as well as its amplifier. The Subterranean is that and nothing more -- a paper designed to give power and strength to its readers and its writers in a way that no council could even attempt.
John Earl, Nick Feamster, Editors.