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A spirit that is not afraid

EDITORIAL | The difference between a letter to the editor, a column and an editorial

As we near milestones on some of our social media, we recognize some new readers may be unfamiliar with the terminology used for our opinion section content. 

Our opinion section, unlike other sections, is made up of three types of content — letters to the editor, columns and editorials. 

Letters to the editors are letters we receive, from our readers, about campus, community or statewide issues. The Plainsman welcomes letters from students, faculty, administrators, alumni and those not affiliated with the University, so anyone can submit a letter at or

Most letters from students, faculty or administration will be published, but standards are somewhat stricter for non-University community members — publication, in this case, depends on timeliness or relevancy to community and campus issues.

The Plainsman does not edit the content of any letter to the editor without permission from the author. Most importantly, letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of anyone on staff. 

Contrary to that, columns and editorials do represent the opinions of the staff. 

Columns are written by columnists, who are writers who only share their opinion on campus, community, or statewide issues, and rarely do any reporting, if at all. 

Columns represent the views and opinions of those individual authors, and not necessarily the opinions of every staff member of the Plainsman. 

All opinions are restricted to the opinion page, so anything that does not have COLUMN, EDITORIAL or LETTER TO THE EDITOR, is reporting and unbiased. 

Lastly, editorials are the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, which is made up of all the editors of The Plainsman. 

Editorials express the official opinion of the newspaper but do not represent the shared opinion of staff members that are not on the editorial board.  

We encourage you to engage with the content in the opinion section respectfully, with an understanding that opinions are simply someone's way of thinking about something. 

Even if a columnist, an author of a letter or the editorial boards' opinion is different from yours, it doesn't mean that it's wrong, just different. 

We thank you for your continued readership, and we hope this explanation was helpful.

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