The Pine Log will present its first ever series “Jacks Views,” a live discussion panel to allow two organizations with opposing viewpoints to have an open conversation on hot topics of discussion. For the pilot episode, the two organizations being presented are the SFA College Democrats and SFA College Republicans. The event will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Theater.
“This is one of the Pine Log’s first events that everyone is hearing about,” Jimmy De Los Santos, editor of videography and junior Radio/TV major from Galveston said. “Our goal is not for them to argue but to discuss their opinion, their views and why [to] gain an understanding of one another.”
De Los Santos, along with Pine Log Editor-in- Chief Raquel Torres, senior mass communication major from College Station, will be heading the event with host Elena Barnes, sophomore mass communication major from Carrollton.
While the event will be in the style of a debate, the goal is to create a non- hostile environment to allow viewers and members of the opposing groups to gain an understanding and mutual respect for one another’s viewpoints.
“We thought that it would be good if we sat them both down and start a dialogue between the two organizations because, ultimately, we are all on the same campus, and we all need to get along,” Torres said. “This event is not a political thing, but the subject is obviously political.”
The original idea for Jack Views was to strictly be in video format without a live audience to moderate. However, Meaghan Morton, design editor and graduate mass communication student from Trinidad, had the idea of using Jack Views as a teaching opportunity for students.
“The more that we’re able to teach the student body about how to consume and be critical of media is when we’re going to get better results,” Morton said. “[We can achieve this by] having events like this and taking it from just the visual aspect of it being a video segment into having a live audience.”
By having a live audience, Jack Views will follow what mainstream news outlets do when a moderator is introduced in an open panel discussion. Morton feels that students will not only be receptive during the event due to the provoking atmosphere that may take place, but that by hosting the event, The Pine Log will be doing its job as a publication covering news that goes beyond a news page.
“It does create almost an electric atmosphere just because we know there’s going to be some disagreement [and] maybe just a little bit of an argument,” Morton said. “It’s meant to be there to provoke that conversation; and if we are the ones to be able to push that conversation, then I feel like we are doing our duty as a publication and as informants for the campus.”
By coming to the event, De Los Santos and Torres hope that students leave with an open mind and a better understanding of what College Democrats and College Republicans believe, as well as what The Pine Log stands for.
“By the end of the event, I feel that people will take a step back and look on what [each group] is saying and whether they side with one or not,” De Los Santos said.
Separating this event from the traditional videos that The Pine Log puts out weekly, the videography team will be working twice as hard to cater to a live event and a completed video.
“If you’re an audience member during the event, you are going to see the uncut [version],” De Los Santos said. “But, most people that won’t be able to attend this, they are going to see the recap of it. With the recap, I want [viewers] feel that they are experiencing what they missed out [on].”
Torres and De Los Santos hope that The Pine Log continues with the Jack Views series throughout this semester and in years to come.
To avoid any potential bias and to hear students’ voice, The Pine Log is giving students an opportunity to send in questions they would like to be discussed at the event. All submissions that will be used will remain anonymous.
“One of the Pine Log’s missions is to meet the campus’s needs for information, so I feel that one way of meeting [those needs] would be by asking the campus what they want to know,” Torres said. “This is the next step to advancements and progress within the SFA community”
A campaign for the event has been posted on all of The Pine Log social media pages. Students are encouraged submit questions or topics of discussion through direct messaging or email The Pine Log at email@example.com.