Editorial | Primary Source tweets contrary to self−imposed suspension
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 01:02
The Primary Source, Tufts’ “journal of conservative thought,” decided last semester to suspend its publishing activities after shocking the campus with a series of Christmas carols that they say were published accidentally and that were received on campus as deeply inappropriate and derogatory. The choice came after significant backlash, including an email to the student body from Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman condemning the carol. As this semester has gone on, however, it appears the Source has redirected its media attention and activities to its Twitter page. The Source account benignly tweets links to conservative articles and websites, as well as offering commentary on campus affairs via their Twitter page, apparently by alumni of the publication. The Primary Source acts contrary to its declared intentions for this semester by tweeting commentary on campus affairs, therein acting out the goals of its publication via social media.
The Source has tweeted about a range of issues this semester, touching on Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate affairs as well as the campaign for university endowment divestment from fossil fuels. It offers to its 370 followers its own brand of snarky commentary on the news involving these issues in the same vein as its written publications. For instance, the Source on Saturday tweeted, “[TCU Senate] passes resolution against investing in fossil fuel assets, but not against purchasing gasoline or driving automobiles.” In addition to discussing these current issues from their its perspective, the Source has often tweeted links to conservative publications and groups. Although not quite the same as publishing a paper issue that includes multiple original articles and other pieces, tweeting still breaks the suspension in the sense that it allows the Primary Source to comment and give opinions without having finished the review of its editorial policies that its current hiatus is meant to enable.
This is not to say that the Source does not — or should not — express legitimate conservative views. Rather, the Source, as perhaps one of a very small number of non−liberal groups on campus, is deeply important in keeping Tufts students aware of the legitimacy of conservative ideas and viewpoinst. In attempting to do this, the Source has taken up a worthy cause. However, the importance of having a publication like the Source does not inherently absolve them of their offensive from last semester. If the Source’s editors — the tweeters have chosen to remain anonymous despite repeated requests that they reveal their identity — are attempting to convince Tufts’ liberals of the merits of conservative viewpoints, they might consider taking a stricter approach to their self−imposed suspension. Tweeting about the issues of the day with a sense of snark only serves to demonstrate a lack of commitment to reforming and in the end weakens the Source’s attempt to build a solid platform from which it can honestly and appropriately debate conservative ideas and viewpoints.