72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Editor’s Response to “Intellectual Dishonesty at The Mass Media”

Last week Mr. Nicholas Favorito, a student at UMB, wrote that a letter to the editor entitled “Government Policy Against Student’s Rights,” “displays a vicious lack of intellectual honesty” and attacked the letter on two fronts. On both fronts, Mr. Favorito has made an error in his analysis, and has made an error in calling the letter’s authors liars.

Mr. Favorite’s first error is in understanding exactly what a “student’s right” is; he claims that the passage of HB 2400 by the state legislature does not impinge student’s rights to decide who they fund on their tuition bill. In point of fact, it does. The essential point is that since UMass students added the opt-out fees all by their little selves, they have a de facto right to do so. When the State Legislature butts in, it is abrogating that right.

His second error is in the reading of HB 2400, which disallows any optional funding of any kind for organizations that engage in political lobbying. That is pretty extreme and likely unconstitutional. Mr. Favorito ignores this, the most significant section of the legislation, in favor of the section of the bill that gives students a voting option on fees as long as they pass that extraordinarily restrictive requirement.

Even were Mr. Favorito correct about HB2400, he would still have no basis for accusations of intellectual dishonesty; a letter to the editor is a matter of the letter writer’s opinion, it is not an editorial, which is the express opinion of The Mass Media, and Mr. Favorito is not free to call us liars simply because he disagrees with a letter we publish.

Lastly, if Mr. Favorito will accuse others of “bluster” and “a galling lack of substance,” he might do well to trim his rebuttal to less than half again the length of whatever letter he may find himself incensed about.

Carl BrooksNews Editor