By Rachel Blood
I’ll be honest. In my 20 years of life, I’ve made mistakes.
When I was six I called 911 on a family friend’s home phone. I thought the phone was a toy, but the police officer who showed up 10 minutes later definitely didn’t.
I messed up, but that’s OK. What matters is that I apologized, learned from the experience and never again called 911 to report a “monster on Main Street” before giggling and hanging up.
What matters is that I can be honest about that incident and the countless mistakes since. That’s my truth.
You might notice that the Clarion looks a little different. As we launch a full visual rebrand, we’re leaning into a new mission statement:
The Clarion is a student-led publication boldly seeking to communicate truth. We serve as a medium of storytelling to objectively share diverse perspectives to encourage dialogue within and outside of the Bethel community.
Our slogan is “truth matters,” and that requires honesty on the part of our staff and our sources. Let me be honest, too: I want the Clarion to be more representative of all students and encourage open, honest dialogue. We have some growing to do, just like everyone else.
As you read these stories of vulnerability and transparency, I encourage you to be honest with yourselves, too. Guest columnist Hannah Bronner is honest about what it’s like to be single during the holiday of love. Managing Editor Soraya Keiser is honest about the gender expectations she suffered through while growing up.
Within these pages of honesty, you’ll also find evidence of evasion. Administrators canceled study abroad trips long after registration had passed. Enrollment is down. Bethel is in debt, and yet we’re continually met with unanswered emails, refused interviews, vague and scripted responses.
A community – of faith, of students, of storytellers – cannot rally to solve a problem if the problem remains unknown.
As a reporter, I sometimes feel like a kid holding a glass to a closed door, desperately trying to catch snippets of the conversation on the other side and wishing there was a window there instead. But we’re not children. We’re stakeholders who routinely sacrifice significant dollars and time to be Royals.
Bethel University: We want you to be honest. Stop hiding the facts like parents eating ice cream after the kids are in bed. In order for this community to best plan for the future, to carry out our callings and to support one another, we need to have an understanding of the state of our university – financially, spiritually and administratively. Can we truly understand the world without understanding how Bethel fits into it?
Honesty, not avoidance.
Windows, not doors.