Letter to the Editor—James Houston Bales


Seven years ago, I graduated from Wichita State. Since graduating, I have moved twice to attend two other schools, but I have never stopped reading The Sunflower. Why? Because The Sunflower’s excellent coverage of Wichita State is unmatched anywhere else.

Regardless of your field of study, good teachers emphasize the ability to examine ideas from multiple sides, to see the pros and the cons of any position. This is not easy to do when dealing with large, lucrative ideas like the Innovation Campus. Many people are so enamored with what such ideas could be that they forget to evaluate the potential negative impact of those ideas. Without The Sunflower’s coverage of the Innovation Campus, nobody would be examining the potential negatives of the Innovation Campus in the public eye. And as someone who loves Wichita State but was removed by distance for a long time, I greatly appreciate this work.

The impulse to give back to any institution that formed you is strong. Any alumnus is a potential future donor. If I decide to give back to Wichita State like I would like to one day, I want to know my gift will not be squandered, and to that end, I would like to know the nature of the people handling that money. The Sunflower is one of the few media institutions willing to examine the Wichita State administration. Even if the administration were doing a perfect job, this examination is a vital service that is difficult to perform, and The Sunflower does it admirably.

I also love The Sunflower’s coverage of Wichita State sports. Even compared to The Eagle, The Sunflower is top-notch when covering basketball, and your coverage of other sports is equally excellent. The Sunflower has a tradition of creating excellent sportswriters and bringing a valuable perspective to such a staid field.

I may not be a Wichita State student anymore, but I still read The Sunflower. Frankly, I am appalled to see this cowardly attack against this paper, clearly meant to silence young journalists simply doing their jobs. So I will say this directly: student government, you must fully fund The Sunflower. Far more than just a student paper, The Sunflower is a valuable community resource, and a diminished Sunflower diminishes Wichita as a whole.

To submit a Letter to the Editor, please visit thesunflower.com/letter