Transparency Tribulations

Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.

Recently, there have been several cases within our community between authoritative figures and those questioning the legitimacy and intention of their actions. In light of this, the value of implementing a policy of transparency is a renewed reminder that should not be forgotten.

We at The New Paltz Oracle applaud the transparency shown by our administration. We, as journalists and student members of the community, understand that limitations on facts are placed on particular topics, not to keep the onlooker in the dark, but to protect those involved.

Giving the New Paltz community all the information they legally can, as we believe our administration more often than not does, aids in creating a healthy rapport between both parties and thus a healthy community. The basis of any relationship is trust and transparency is the foundation of establishing truth.

However, it is not always the issue of whether transparency is given or not, but what the community chooses to do with it. We often question the authenticity of the message we are receiving. And to that we say good. It is the job of students, community members and us as journalists to question things; the consistent stream of rightful inquisition is what keeps the pressure on authoritative figures to remain transparent.

But if it is our administration’s job to provide the most extensive amount of facts possible, it is our job as an analytical body to gather said information to the fullest extent. With so much of our opinion being based off of info we find on social media and lunchroom gossip – many of which only state one particular side or one specific matter – it is easy to believe, in your scrutinizing disposition, that you are being lied to, the truth unobtainable and have anger be your first inclination.

Nothing good can come of making these sorts of assumptions and accusations. In the heat of the moment, when blood is boiling and emotions running high, it’s easy to take an opinion, not fully fleshed out from factuality and express it in a flood of unorganized and disrespectful spew. Consider the implications of doing such: burning bridges and causing strife, perhaps all over nothing but a presumption.

Don’t let this deter you from questioning something you feel strongly about; be polite and go through the proper channels to get the information and be cordial when expressing your opinion on such to ensure moral and ethical reasoning is maintained from one party to the next.

For all these reasons, we stress how important achieving all the pieces of the puzzle. Before pointing fingers and making allegations, understand the possible limitations of the transparency given. Be proactive in securing your own information about the topic and formulate an opinion that is informed before taking the next step. Transparency is only a positive if used in conjunction with an understanding body of people looking to confirm the full truth and not fuel negative output based on what came through the grapevine.