Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1982-01-261
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WEBER STATE-2110 OGDEN 84408 TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 1982 Vol. 42 No. 27 -V'v-S; .,v. 51 I k v ' j. " ' s s , , I " ' ,. Photo by Rodney Wright The weak winter sun breaks through the trees onto a field and while in can be tough on some, it is pure joy for Utah of fresh snow. The worst winter in many years is upon us, skiers and ski resorts. Rabbit drives spark criticism of media Recent publicity about the Idaho rabbit drives have sparked a flood of criticism that one sociologist believes stems from biased reporting by the media. Dr. Kay Gillespie, sociology professor at Weber State College, has recently concluded a report entitled, "Rabbit Drives: The Media and Public Opinion," and from his study concludes that the media has turned the rabbit hunt into a media event. He said "They (reporters) are getting the events of the drive right, but they are taking those events out and sensationalizing them." He noted in his study that often news reports of the hunt include descriptive words and phrases of the event like "slaughter, assault, bloody spectacle and massacre" with associated sights and smells including "stench filled the air, shrieking, pools of blood, skulls split, slowly dying," and many others. Dr. Gillespie said, "The reporters really get carried away with their terminology and people relate to what they read." He said that for most people their only contact with the event is through newspapers and most accept as correct the accounts and perceptions they read. "I admit that this is an emotional issue," Dr. Gillesspie said, "but they could have been more professional and selected better terminology." Dr. Gillespie notes that as a consequence of media exposure community members have banded tightly together to stand against what they view as a hostile public. He said, "The Mud Lake Rabbit Committee at first welcomed the media only to find themselves portrayed as 'brutal, inhumane, stupid farmers who (got) their kicks out of beating poor defenseless bunnies.' " He noted that since publicity has come to the 100-year-old event, attempts have been made by the Humane Society and other animal protection groups to stop the drives with court injunctions. Boycotts of Idaho and Idaho products have been threatened and threats and curses have come on the lives of the farmers, their families and crops. In his study, Dr. Gillespie studied 125 of the letters the rabbit committee received and found that 11 percent were threatening, 26 percent were letters of support, 46 percent were letters of disgust and 13 percent were letters of request. Threatening letters included such lines as: "I would like to see each of you worthless people have your own throats slit and let you see how it feels. In fact, I would be glad to do it myself if I were there." One dentist wrote, "P.S: Don't ever show up in (name of town) with a toothache." According to Gillespie there are approximately 35,000 rabbits per square mile on the farmers' land and they have already caused an estimated $10 million damage. He said, "People there have fought this problem since 1914." One man wrote and told of how his parents were driven off their farm in that area because of the rabbit problem. "It's not a blood-thirsty violence, it's a fight for their livelihood," said Gillespie. He said the rabbit committee has received numerous suggestions offering alternatives to the clubbing ranging from shooting, electrocution, gas, and one individual even sent ten 100 pound sacks of rabbit feed. He said, "People have been saying that the rabbits should be killed humanely, but they're not talking about humane, they're talking about bloodless and I'm not sure the two can be equated." He pointed out that for the most part those who participate in the hunt don't do it because they enjoy it. Gillespie said, "When they come back in (from the hunt) there is a subdued feeling as if they were saying, 'We don't like to do this, but it's necessary.' " "But," he said, "society does not see this side of the struggle because it is not included in the reports of the event." He said, "You can't take one part out of a culture and examine it. People see the clubbing of the rabbits as a single event instead of examining it in its total context." He added, "I'm not sure the media is doing this purposely, but still they are doing it. They've sold a lot of papers with those stories." Senate wants class change grace period The Academic Senate decided Monday to accept a proposal for a one week grace period before charges for class changes are imposed, beginning fall of 1982. Academic Affairs V.P. Dr. Robert Smith and Admissions Director Emil Hanson attended the regular senate meeting yesterday. Smith said the, "main purpose for the class change fee was to prevent so-called 'ghost registration' in which students register for more classes than they intend to keep." Hanson ?nd Smith said figures show the "fee hc.d been effective," and thus seemed reluctant to change it, especially since the Senate last week rejected the linear tuition proposal which also tried to decrease "ghost registration." Senator Mike Todd said, "catalog descriptions are often vague and... students should not be penalized financially because of poor catalog descriptions or teachers who deviate from the printed descriptions." Smith said, "I admit that Mr. Todd's argument is one of the strongest arguments for allowing a grace period before charging a fee." After extensive discussion, Smith and Hanson offered to try, beginning next fall, an experimental one week grace period. Signature The Signpost is proud to announce the premier of Signature, a weekly magazine supplement featuring a wide variety of entertaining and informative subjects concerning today's college student. The pages of Signature will present a new and refreshing look at entertainment possibilities local and state-wide, college life, issues facing the serious student and the lighter side of the world around us. Each issue will also include Ad Lib, a column dedicated to a wide range of topics, quotes, poems, letters and queries. A special Spotlight section will be dedicated each month to an outstanding or interesting college student or faculty member. Writers in all areas of the college, both students and faculty are welcome to submit photos and written material for publication. We hope the signatures of the authors featured in this first issue are the beginning of a long list of notable contributions. For information contact Joan Wilcox at the Signpost office.
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1982-01-26, Vol. 42, No. 27|
|Creator||Weber State College|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber College; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State College|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|