Sedona Jameson | I Refuse to be Silenced

A Punch Bowl Op-Ed:

My oh my, it’s nearly the end of first semester junior year already! We all know that college can be a bit of a blur, but it’s important to look back on the individual moments that make up the truly singular experience of being a Penn student. One such moment for me was the first time that I spoke with the now editor-in-chief of the DP, Scott Washington. I’ll never forget him saying, “Hi, my name is Scott. We’re going to have to ask you to leave the building again. If you try to enter a third time we will call the police.”

Two years after that simple misunderstanding, I was finally hired by the Daily Pennsylvanian after months of effort. Scott and I became fast friends following my inaugural DP BYO, when I drank three liters of Franzia Bordeaux and threw up in his girlfriend’s hamper.

Despite my enthusiasm for the written word, reception to my first official DP op-ed was rough. I distinctly remember Scott cuddling up to me on one of the couches at the office and saying, “This is terrible. You need to focus on things besides the distribution and taxonomy of coffee plants. And absolutely no emojis. How did you even get a photo of me tending to my coffee plant this morning? Can’t you just write about Zionism, or sorority recruitment like everybody else?” Safe to say I was flabbergasted.

The way I see it, there has been a culture of specificity for far too long in journalistic enterprise. Whatever happened to creativity and diversity of opinion? I don’t care if my pieces don’t fit into the narrow boxes of what is “proper” content for a newspaper, and that “the DP can’t publish sex poems that you’ve written me, Sedona!” Who are you, Scott, to tell me that my article about the wonders and intricacies of human reproduction is not fit for your pages?

Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that I am even writing this. Scott should know that readers of the DP are sophisticated enough to think far beyond religious affairs and the tribulations of Panhellenic life, and that he obviously should have broken up with his girlfriend months ago. I, for one, am tired of simply accepting that Penn students can’t handle any diversity of opinion, and that “Sedona, I really do love my girlfriend and you have to stop showing up at my house and, hold on, is that my dog in your car?”

Penn students deserve more! And although mine may be an unpopular opinion, nary a revolution has been sparked with someone winning a popularity contest. Although, of course, if it did come down to a popularity contest, I’m definitely more popular than Scott’s girlfriend.

People obviously care about more than the “issues” that the DP deems “appropriate.” My latest column, “An Open Letter to the Parents of Mr. Scott Washington” was never even published despite its favorable review by my roommate Sheila. It’s despicable, nay, censoring, practices like this that leave me feeling hollow after writing for twenty hours every day, and spending the remaining four hours scrolling through Scott’s LinkedIn.

Though I’m armed only with a computer, a restraining order, and a fierce desire for my voice to be heard, I will not stop until the DP  publishes my work in its entirety. Either that or Scott agrees to go on a date, whichever comes first.

SEDONA JAMESON is a College junior majoring in psychology. Her email address is sjameson@sas.upenn.edu. “Sedona’s Way” would appear every other Tuesday if Sedona actually had her way.

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