Letter to the Editor – Mr. Brett Erdmann

Dear Statesman,


I just read the article in the Statesman, and I really appreciate the suggestion that the intent of students participating in Give-A-Thon should be thoroughly questioned.  I agree that there is a lot more work to do regarding pushing students toward authenticity. Each year, we look to make this event better for all of our stakeholders and encourage true service learning.  


However, I do take issue with the verifiably false information regarding “service hour” requirements and incentives.  This reference is repeated many times. Service hours have not been a part of the Stevenson community service portfolio for the past 2 years since the community service transformation was initiated.  Stevenson now has a more authentic model that encourages student reflections on InnerView (and ignores the “hour” component as a trackable metric completely within our Stevenson community).


Any event, class, or process at Stevenson should be open to criticism.  That’s the beauty of free speech and free press. However, using demonstrably false information in support of an opinion is unacceptable in a news publication.  When false information is propagated, journalism is considered unreliable and people don’t trust their news sources. The Statesman is an awesome student publication and should maintain high standards to avoid this trap.


To sum up, I think The Statesman should be better about checking facts, consulting sources, and ensuring the veracity of any claims.  The Statesman should consistently fact-check and employ student editors for each piece. Please make sure that evidence in the future is sound.  


I’m assuming that an honest mistake was made, but I would appreciate a retraction of the verifiably false statements in your next issue.  




Mr. Erdmann