Dear editor: The following is a copy of a letter to Student Federation.
I write on behalf of members of the English and Fine Arts faculty to encourage you to fully fund Tower Light. We would like to express appreciation for the challenging and complex task of allocating funding to a wide array of student organizations. However, we are concerned that Tower Light risks having its funding greatly reduced and thus producing a publication that will not meet its high standards or properly showcase the work of the published students.
The venue in which artistic work appears inevitably affects how it is perceived and received. To that end, our fine arts students at Hillsdale are given appropriate places in which to showcase their work: the same auditorium that serves our visiting professional artists hosts our dancers and theatrical productions; our student artists have opportunities to display work in a proper gallery; our musicians can anticipate the joy of performing in our beautiful new chapel. These venues enhance the pleasure audiences find in a work of art. Tower Light’s venue is the material object that we hold in our hands. Even when the actual content is excellent, printing it on cheap stock and with poor binding diminishes appreciation, much as asking musicians to perform in the middle of the dining hall would dim the splendor of their performance.
On that note, Tower Light is one of the highest-quality student publications I have ever encountered. However excellent the contents of the student literary magazine other campuses where I have studied and worked, the delivery was never as sophisticated as that of Tower Light. The magazine’s editorial board takes care to provide an attractive venue for the works they spotlight, and also to offer a pleasing reading experience to us, the audience.
This beautiful, thoughtful presentation means that Tower Light can represent Hillsdale College to prospective students, alumni, donors, and others by showcasing the modern application of our mission statement, in which we proclaim ourselves to be stewards of an intellectual tradition that includes literature and art. Not only do our students study fine works, but they create them, and Tower Light, in both its contents and its presentation, demonstrates our care in tending the intellectual tradition and producing its modern-day fruits.
The Student Federation declares on the website that it “supports the College in its mission of calling students toward the cultivation of intellectual and moral excellence and diligence in performing the duties of scholarship.” By funding Tower Light, it will clearly and visibly support that very mission, in addition to funding requests such as club trips and recreational equipment that also benefit narrow segments of the student body. We thus request that Tower Light be funded to maintain its high standards and appropriately represent the college and its students both to us on campus and to the outside world.
Elizabeth Fredericks, Assistant Professor of English
Patricia Bart, Associate Professor of English
Christopher Busch, Professor of English
Barbara Bushey, Chair and Professor of Art
Douglas Coon, Lecturer in Art
Kelly Scott Franklin, Assistant Professor of English
J. A. Jackson, Chair and Professor of English
Dutton Kearney, Associate Professor of English
Dwight Lindley, Associate Professor of English
Lorraine Murphy, Associate Professor of English
Stephen Smith, Professor of English
John Somerville, Professor of English
Julio Suarez, Assistant Professor of Art
Benedict Whalen, Assistant Professor of English