Letter to the Editor: An inappropriate time and place


Dear Editor,

For the members of The Wood Word senior staff who graduated this past weekend, things got personal during this year’s Undergraduate Hooding and Honors Ceremony held on Friday, May 18.

Chair of Marywood’s Board of Trustees Lisa Lori, Esq., decided to mention The Wood Word and how we graded the university with a B- this academic year in our annual report card editorial.

“Are any Wood Word students here? Oh, come on. There you are,” she said toward the beginning of the hooding ceremony, as she waited for us to raise our hands. “I read your article last night. Every year they publish a report card and grade the university. We went up to a B- from a C last year. Next year, let’s make it an A.”

It’s unclear exactly who should “make it an A” next year, but as the attention in the gym turned to our row of chairs on the floor, it felt like her call to action was directed at us. Singling out one small group of students in an arena full of supporters ready to celebrate achievements was inappropriate for the occasion.

We always invite our readers to interact with us by tweeting us, emailing us or writing a letter to the editor. If Lori was unhappy with the editorial, we wish she would have reached out through one of these outlets.

Through our time as student reporters at Marywood, we have received criticism through social media comments, emails and even comments made to our faces. We especially expected feedback (as we always get it) on our annual report card. We have thick skin and have learned that criticism comes with this career. However, we did not expect to hear this criticism announced publicly by the chair of our board at a celebratory occasion.

Our annual report card and every other article we and our fellow writers have written is part of our education as student journalists. If the board and administrators can’t see our education as a positive, they don’t fully understand the university’s mission.

Just because our editorial board gave Marywood a grade that the administration might not be happy with doesn’t mean we think it’s a bad school. But we do feel it can do better. The Wood Word is not a public relations outlet for Marywood. We report on what happens, good and bad.

To future Wood Word staff members and student journalists, if you ever receive backlash or are inappropriately called out by university administrators or anyone you come across in your career, always remember why we do what we do.

“News is what somebody, somewhere, wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” -Lord Northcliffe


John Ferraro, Class of 2017

Rachel Looker, Class of 2018

Bethany Wade, Class of 2018

Alex Weidner, Class of 2018

Dylan Wright, Class of 2018