Letter to the Editor

    Editor:

    Since my first week here at UCSD, one irksome factor I have noticed is that The UCSD Guardian tends to pay little attention to major issues and instead focuses on hollow, crass issues. The final straw was drawn when I came upon the article about the death of a student at Pacific Hall (Feb. 10 issue).

    Less than one-fourth of a page was dedicated to the distressful and much talked-about incident. However, in the same issue, the Guardian staff easily devoted a whole page to whether or not an ice-cream parlor should be added to the Price Center. Clearly, the staff members seem to think that editorials on an ice-cream parlor seem to vastly outweigh the importance of a death on campus. How insensitive.

    Even more, the article about the death was, to my disappointment, poorly written. The facts are obscure and leave readers with no closure. The writer reported that “”staff members”” found the body — which staff members? How many staff members? What was their reaction? Were there any witnesses? Did someone see Summerfish fall? I mean, the “”apparent suicide”” occurred in broad daylight, at a time when numerous people were out and about in Pacific Hall — didn’t anyone notice something? A scream? A sound? Also, since Summerfish’s death was not officially declared a suicide, I fear for many. What if there is a homicidal maniac roaming around, waiting to push people off buildings?

    Maybe there was not sufficient time to obtain all this information, but for a university that distributes a newspaper only twice a week, I am sure a couple of true, passionate writers could do more research for such an important ordeal. A student died — is that all there is to say?

    In addition, on the second page of the Guardian, under the “”Lights and Sirens”” column, (which, may I add, is incorrectly dated), the Guardian indicates that at 1:13 p.m., “”officers reported a death at Pacific Hall.”” Yet, in the article, writer Thomas Neeley describes that according to a sergeant of the UCSD Police Department, “”Summerfish fell to her death at about 1 p.m.”” So this means that within a matter of 13 minutes, the body was found, the police were called and Summerfish was declared dead. Thirteen minutes? Wow.

    Now, having been an editor of my high school newspaper, one mechanism that was very important in article writing was getting quotes. We were taught that since the paper is for students, student input is extremely essential. Quotes draw more student readers, which is the purpose of a student newspaper. Yet I find a great lack of quotes in many articles, especially in the “”Student found dead at Pac. Hall”” article. I, along with hundreds of other Revelle freshmen living on campus, live right next to Pacific Hall, and our thoughts and concerns should be expressed. Muir students, many of which knew Summerfish, should have been interviewed as well, but weren’t.

    I am not writing in regards only to the Summerfish article, but about the Guardian as a whole. Unquestionably, the paper lacks substance and a sense of importance.

    — Sheila Sayani

    Revelle College freshman

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