Coleman Molnar: Editor -In-Chief Ω
A recent casual read through the Omega’s policy manual brought something interesting to my attention: it is completely ok for us to print swearwords in our publication.
No fucking way! That’s awesome!
Here I’ve been, editing out some of the most commonly used words in the English language from our dedicated editors’ copy over the last year, when it wasn’t even necessary.
I mean nothing quite catches the eye like a strategically placed “shit” or “motherfucker” – one of my personal favourites.
However, my responsibility as editor-in-chief is not only to the establishment, but also to you, the reader. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but if we can’t discuss the use of swearwords here at university, then where in Sam Hell can we? I think it’s about time we tackled this potentially offensive issue. Don’t you?
I know that my bosses aren’t going to jump on me for printing these atrocities, but what about the school itself?
According to Duane Seibel, the Manager of Student and Judicial Affairs here at TRU, swearing is allowed, so long as it is not directed at another person or disrupting a class.
“We don’t have clear policy that says ‘thou shalt not swear on campus,’ but we do have a number of policies in place,” Seibel said.
“Swearing would seem most inappropriate when it is directed at somebody else. The simple use of a swearword while walking across campus is unlikely to lead to any sort of sanctioned consequence.”
I think what Seibel is trying to say is that you, dear reader, may feel free to read this article out loud – unless you’re in the middle of class, of course.
The classroom is perhaps not the best place to release your frustrations in a cathartic cacophony of cusses, but if it’s an honest mistake, you might just get away with one or two.
“I have a three strikes and you’re out policy on [swearing],” said Jan Duerden, and English professor at TRU.
“If a student does accidentally swear during a speech, the class listens a lot closer to the rest of the presentation to see if the student will strike out. Which never happens. Except when a student did a presentation on the value of swearing. He got lucky.”
Well would you look at that? Apparently at least one other student also sees some “value of swearing.” Fucking rights brother – whoever you are.
Duerden even admits that she has let slip a bad word in class.
“Students don’t seem to mind when a professor swears,” she said.
“I have accidentally sworn in class, but usually only when I can’t make the PowerPoint projector work. That is a ‘clusterfuck.’ But I know they aren’t expecting it either because if we do swear, it’s followed by this really loud five-second silence (which seems to go on forever). And then we all return to the regularly scheduled programming.”
But you might not want to try that in another class. Not all professors – or students for that matter – appreciate a good cussing. You really have to feel out each situation.
“For the most part, students are expected to act like responsible adults in whatever environment they’re in,” said Seibel.
“People have a certain filter they use when speaking to their grandma, they just need to find out what their school filter is.”
Finally, before I sign off here, I would like to take this last bit of ink to apologize to my darling mother for my profane language throughout this editorial. But shit, Mom, maybe I’ll finally get some emails this week!