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Hold Those in Power Accountable

We all need to be aware of the consequences of our mistakes. And that means owning up to them, too. 

You learn by your mistakes. This doesn’t mean you intentionally make mistakes in your everyday life, but it means that you learn from them and try your best to own up and do better the next time around. We must take responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves and others accountable.

The Mueller Report was recently released, detailing Donald Trump’s campaign involvement with Russia. But instead of holding himself accountable to his actions, he has instead chosen to go back to his original tactic of tweeting and vocally voicing his denial of the report and the related evidence. Trump has intentionally diverted attention away from the Mueller report by calling it “politically motivated,” and painting himself as the victim.

Despite the years of investigation that went into the report, many are in denial of its authenticity. Some supporters have gone as far as writing the report off as “written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters” while they downplay the damning evidence that says otherwise.

It’s important to acknowledge those who are in denial of the mounting evidence and to acknowledge those who claim the report is incorrect or untrue despite the evidence proving the opposite.

With Lisa Rossbacher’s departure looming and the announcement of the next Humboldt State University president, we want to highlight some of the issues brought up when it comes to those not taking into account the effects of their actions. On the president’s webpage, it claims that she wants to focus on key areas, “supporting student success, providing a welcoming environment for our diverse community, ensuring we have the resources needed to fulfill our mission and expanding partnerships, both on- and off- campus”.

While that may be the case, there are multiple things that President Rossbacher has done that show otherwise. She had significant involvement in shutting down the football program, there has been a complete lack of acknowledgement of the racism in the school and campus community and the majority of anti-immigrant rhetoric on campus. To top it off, Rossbacher and the committee decided to gut KHSU without warning and the Arcata community isn’t too happy either.

We are all human. Every day we make decisions and their consequences may not be immediately known to us or others. There can be immense pressure on an individual to make a decision in the heat of the moment, but when the consequences of that decision come to reality, it is important to acknowledge any mistakes, own up to them and work to rectify the issues.

A bit of modesty can go a long way, because mistakes and failures are a natural part of life. As editors, we see and make plenty of small, seemingly irrelevant mistakes: misplaced commas, poor grammar and spelling errors. When a writer at the Lumberjack hands in an article, they have tried their best to catch their own mistakes but it is a show of modesty to allow us editors to mark up their work so the final presentation is handsome and polished. Even then, mistakes slip through the cracks and we try our best to see to them all.

We should hold those in power to the same standards. If we at the Lumberjack expect our writers and editors to edit their work and try their best to catch their mistakes, then the Humboldt State community needs to hold Lisa Rossbacher accountable for her inaction just as much as the country needs to hold Donald Trump accountable for his. People in power should not get a pass simply because of their position.

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