Why settle for lackluster leadership?

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Leadership is about more than dress suits, handshakes, pleasant Twitter accounts and annual holiday parties. It is a responsibility to enrich the minds of a generation, challenge others to consider different perspectives and have the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

At Elon University, we are settling for middling leadership when it comes to contentious issues. We seem to be satisfied with our leaders, but are they doing enough to warrant our devotion? Perhaps we are too quick to accept our administration’s pleasant, politically correct statements in the face of controversy.

As you may recall, Elon’s Board of Trustees created a Vendor Policy Study Committee last October in response to the controversy concerning Chick-fil-A. Elon made a wise decision in creating this committee. Other universities made rash decisions on whether to let Chick-fil-A remain on their campuses while ours is taking the time to come to a well thought-out decision. Not only is the committee examining the policies and practices of Chick-fil-A, but also those of other vendors with whom our university has relations. We applaud Elon for this, but there is a problem: This committee has diffused accountability.

Do any of us know where our administrators stand on the Chick-fil-A issue or on other controversial issues that would require them to take a stand and risk offending someone? Probably not, unless you’ve had one-on-one conversations with members of the administration. 

The student body is receiving generic, politically correct statements that tiptoe around the issues. Our administration is acting more like a public relations firm than the leaders of our generation.

There’s a debate occurring in higher education as to whether administrators ought to stand up for such issues. We realize donations and application rates are at risk, but there are some things worth standing up for.

Dr. Steven House, provost and vice president for academic affairs, made no statements regarding the Chick-fil-A debate. Shouldn’t we be hearing from someone who has done so much for our university? He’s the ‘‘chief academic officer’’ of our university, one that preaches service, global citizenship and a commitment to diversity.

In 2001, he became the founding dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences. He helped develop the Elon College Fellows Program and worked with faculty to develop Elon’s application to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter on campus. He is clearly an integral part of our university, but apparently has nothing to say when it comes to contentious topics like Chick-fil-A.

President Lambert has made a mere two statements regarding the issue, none of which involve taking a stand. On Oct. 18, 2012, he made his first public statement.

He spent the first few paragraphs objectively explaining how the issue has generated debate on our campus. He clarified that a decision had not yet been reached, but named committee members who would present to the Board of Trustees later in the academic year. He provided an email address for people who wished to offer their input on this issue and informed us of a discussion that was to be held regarding the broader issues at stake. It was all very matter-of-fact.

On Oct. 30, Lambert released another statement. He listed each member of the committee and expressed his gratitude to those on it.

He went on to say, “As a university community, we do not and should not avoid respectful debate about the controversial issues of our day.”

We ought to consider the fact that President Lambert encourages civil debate and applauds others for sharing their viewpoints, but witholds his own.

 As president, he shouldn’t leave Elon students hanging out to dry. There were many who no longer felt accepted at Elon — isn’t this an appropriate time for a president to step in?

After the racial slurs that were made last year, our administration launched a “Not On Our Campus” campaign. President Lambert and Smith Jackson spoke at a special College Coffee to demonstrate Elon’s commitment to tolerance. According to an article on E-Net, Lambert told the student body the easy road would have been for individuals to do and say nothing, to ignore injustice and to let discrimination proceed without comment. Isn’t that precisely what is happening with the Chick-fil-A debate?

While it was respectable for our administration to take a stand against racism, it was not praiseworthy. We all agree that racism is unjust; we don’t all agree on the legal definition of marriage.

Of course there is risk involved in stating one’s opinions on a hot-button issue, but this is what being a leader is about. There is a way to be politically savvy while also showing one’s personal convictions. As a student body, we need to start demanding this from our leaders.

Perhaps our administration should take a cue from other influential educational leaders.

Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University, was an advocate for many issues during his time as president. In 2000, he co-authored a book that changed the debate on affirmative action in America. In this book, “The Shape of the River,” Bok essentially defends affirmative action in college admissions. His stance certainly created controversy and generated criticism, but he defended his convictions, a hallmark of strong leadership.

Reverend Theodore Hesburgh, Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987, also provided strong leadership in the face of controversy. Hesburgh faced criticism in the 1960s and 1970s with his liberal views on civil rights and his support of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1972, he made another bold move by opening Notre Dame’s doors to women. He was not universally liked and probably would not have enjoyed as many retweets as President Lambert, but there’s no denying his courageous leadership.

Although our administration clearly cares a good deal about our community, it is also clear they are simply not doing enough. Our university leaders should be role models, but if they’re failing to stand up for crucial issues facing our generation, who will? With Student Government Association elections taking place today, now is the time to strongly consider what it means to be a worthy leader. As a student body, we shouldn’t be settling for uncourageous, politically correct leadership. We ought to be demanding more.

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  • http://twitter.com/stebertstebert Steven Ebert

    I’m really frustrated by this article. The author has taken one incident – the lack of commentary on the CFA debate on campus – and applied it to the broad brush stroke of “lackluster leadership”. Does it matter what Dr. Lambert’s personal opinion on the matter is? Dr. Lambert and Dr. House are public representatives for our university. The author made clear the difference between the CFA debate and the Not On Our Campus incident- we all agree on the latter and not on the former.

    Your examples of “strong leaders” aren’t relevant. Your research should have shown Bok’s book was published when he was not in office- while still an active stance on a vocal issue, it hardly supports your argument that Bok was good at his job as University President. Does President Lambert need to author a book on his opinions of CFA to be a good leader? That seems to be the standard you’ve set.

    Our administration is not a tabloid, they are an administration. Frankly, their personal opinions on matters are the business of no media organization on our campus. It’s also fascinating that the author of this article – an article that talks about the need for openness and the free expression of opinion – has chosen to remain unnamed and simply leave attribution to “The Pendulum”. I certainly hope that the text below the article that reads, “These articles reflect the opinions of the news organization” is as unfounded as this article.

    • http://elonpendulum.com/ The Pendulum

      Thanks so much for your comment, Steven. We understand and respect your opinion, but would like to clarify one thing: This editorial was not written by a single columnist who simply chose to remain anonymous. This is our staff editorial, which is always left unsigned and attributed to The Pendulum, week in and week out. The opinion of this editorial was formulated by multiple staff members, hence the author being listed as The Pendulum. We do believe there is a strong contrast between merely an anonymous column and an unsigned staff editorial, and we just wanted to clarify that.

      • http://twitter.com/stebertstebert Steven Ebert

        Thanks for the clarification, however frightening the implications of that are.

      • Mike MacHatton

        So you’re admitting that your all a bunch of crazies then, right?

  • CJ Moore

    Here’s my problem. I don’t understand exactly how upper administration is of “lackluster leadership.” I don’t quite understand how they did anything wrong throughout this entire debacle that nearly divided our campus (and in some ways, still has). If Lambert and House were to have spoken out about how they PERSONALLY felt about these issues, what good does that do? We, as a campus, were already divided as a student body about this issue, so why put the highest administration on one side or the other just to further divide the student body? I don’t ever expect upper administration to take a personal stance on issues, or at least I don’t expect them to let those thoughts be known to us. Lambert’s job is perpetuate healthy debate and allow the campus community to feel empowered by taking their OWN stances and vying for what they believe is right.

    So riddle me this: If Lambert had said, “I believe that Chik-Fil-A should be removed from campus”, or something of the like–that would’ve, of course, given more empowerment to the LGBTQIA community (which I am an advocate for)–but what about the rest of the campus? Is it fair for the PRESIDENT of a university to take a side with some members of the campus community and not take a side with the others? Is that really what we want of our president? Also, what would’ve happened if he had spoken to the contrary? That would’ve just driven one more stake through the LGBTQIA community, especially when that specific community already felt like they were being overlooked and that they were less than important. Here’s the thing: if someone that high up in administration speaks out for or against something that they believe, unless EVERYONE at Elon believes the same thing that upper administration does, who’s to say that it’s worth allowing one group to feel a surge of support while the other feels barren and misrepresented?

    We cannot pretend that a president or provost taking a distinct stance on an extremely controversial issue won’t just further divide this campus into one messy “us vs. them” setting. I know that it may be frustrating for some that upper administration won’t speak up and say what’s really on their minds, but I honestly do NOT think that this is what we need. They’ve done a fine job at allowing everyone at Elon that wanted (and was willing to show up) to speak on these issues and make their own arguments. This controversial issue allowed anyone who was willing to do their own independent research, making compelling arguments–and for some–release strongholds by form of personal testimony that have been barring them from further growth. Although the outcome was not to the liking of some, Elon’s administration did exactly what it was expected to do–give it to the students, and allow them to duke it out. If there was ever a time that administration took the power from us as a community and didn’t allow us to debate and give our own personal feelings about these issues, the campus would revolt because at that point, everyone would feel as if their opinions didn’t matter. It would be nothing short of a sheltered, modern-day dictatorship if we as Elon students ever allowed that to happen.

    The way I see it is, we are beyond privileged to be able to even speak up as individuals about such things. We are especially privileged to have the ability to form groups and have facilitated forums and debates that embrace these topics. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be interesting if administration took their own personal stance and was vocal about it, but I don’t think that’s what this campus really needs. We need to continue on the path that we are on and empower ourselves, because at the end of the day, the only thing we have is ourselves. As cliche as it is, “Together we stand, divided we fall.” We don’t need any more dividers; we don’t need Lambert and House to take a personal stance–we need to continue to educate ourselves and remain encouraged and empowered.

  • Christian Binder

    This is absolutely absurd. Taking one issue and saying that because of it, the university’s leadership is “lackluster” and “middling” is an atrocity. I get that this is an editorial article, so you’re rooted in opinion, but it’s February and you’re using quotes from October and earlier. You said that the student body would only get a straight answer if they went and talked to a leadership figure personally – did you do that? Honestly, I’m pretty mad that this article was published and I’m with Steven, if you’re going to write opinions of this magnitude, put your name on it. It’s amateurish to write such an article hurling insults at named persons, especially with a scathing cartoon, when the article is written anonymously. That is not the Pendulum that I’ve known over the last 4 years and I certainly hope that this is not a “new direction” for the student newspaper.

    • http://elonpendulum.com/ The Pendulum

      We so appreciate your feedback on our editorial, but would just like to clarify something as we did in Steven Ebert’s comment: This editorial was not written by a single columnist who simply chose to remain anonymous. This is our staff editorial, which is always left unsigned and attributed to The Pendulum, week in and week out. The opinion of this editorial was formulated by multiple staff members, hence the author being listed as The Pendulum. It is a slight misconception to think of our editorial as a column that someone did not want to attach their name to. Rather, it is an unsigned editorial that represents the opinion of The Pendulum as a whole. We hope that clarification makes sense – thanks so much for your feedback.

      • Christian Binder

        I appreciate that you’re taking the time to respond, but I still take issue. I’ll admit that I didn’t know that this was written by multiple staff members, so thanks for that clarification. However, you’re still only addressing one small part of these comments, as you did with Steven. How do you respond to everything else I said?

        • http://elonpendulum.com/ The Pendulum

          The Pendulum continues to stand by the opinions expressed in our editorial, though we fully understand and appreciate the comments you wrote. The comments section is an open space for our readers to discuss our work. Rather than debating each comment (and potentially fruitlessly), though, we simply wanted to clarify one aspect of your comment so our readers might better understand our viewpoints.

  • Chris Mench

    Typical Pendulum, trying to create controversy without having ANYTHING substantial to back it up. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for writing such a ridiculous, ill-thought out hit piece based completely on one issue from months ago. Chick-Fil-A is your only example of this so-called “lackluster leadership.” Literally nothing in this article makes any sense, and the idea that you guys would publish this as a legitimate critique of the administration is laughable. I’m sorry, but you guys are not only wrong about this, but I think you’re completely out of sync with what the majority of people at Elon think. Try harder.

  • Lexi

    This is a joke. Get real.

  • Robert

    I’m a little confused about this article. I’m not sure how, if had Lambert succinctly said, “CFA should/shouldn’t be on campus” anyone would have benefited. I don’t think leadership is simply telling people what to think about something but rather showing them how they should think about it. Simply giving a list of position points wouldn’t be valuable because at a university level, no one should form their opinions based on what anyone is telling them. That’s what talk radio is for. Their voices and positions might seem “courageous” but they ultimately don’t enhance anyone’s ability to reason or comprehend issues in a meaningful way. Which I think, we all would agree, is most useful.

    I’m sure this is the kind of article that fulfills a journalistic fantasy about being a bold/fearless voice against the Administration. But the shots at Lambert and the entirely needless cartoon show this is a self-pleasuring eff-you to the school and not a needed critic of university administrators. The only thing worse than wanting a few retweets is trying to generate hits on your website by rehashing a discussion thoroughly worked through months ago.

  • Leigh Burgess

    I have one question: has this affected your education? If it has, I’d like to hear about it, but this seems like more of a media-generated distraction than anything else. Dr. House is VP of academic affairs, which is probably why he gave no statements — because this Chik-fil-A debacle is not an academic issue. Bok and Hesburgh spoke out on academic issues; comparing them to the university’s handling of Chik-fil-A’s presence on campus is irrelevant. I’m all for discussions on ethics, diversity, and the like; and a passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA community, but I think it’s time we focus on a more pressing issue.

    Furthermore, if we are going to keep running this issue into the ground, these “arguments” need to be better constructed. This controversy started because Dan Cathy shared his personal opinions on same-sex marriage. Now people are upset that President Lambert didn’t speak out with a sided opinion. So just to be clear, we’re upset with President Lambert for not taking the same action that started this whole thing? I’m all for questioning our institution’s leadership and looking into the issues that affect the education for which we’re paying, but in strong, well-developed arguments. There are many examples of mediocre leadership, but this article focuses on the weakest one and is poorly constructed. You’re grasping at straws here.

    • ElonAlum12

      When bias incidents occur in classrooms, they impact student learning…and bias incidents related to Chick-fil-A HAVE been occurring in classrooms. Furthermore, the college experience is much more than academic, and student safety and campus climate have to be taken into account here. Also, you need to reexamine your own argument–this controversy did not start because Dan Cathy shared his opinions. This controversy is rooted in tens of thousands of dollars of donations to groups that seek to silence LGBTQ people and oppose any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Relevant also is the fact that Chick-fil-A does not protect their LGBTQ employees from discrimination or offer their LGBTQ employees any benefits–benefits that, on average, account for roughly 20 percent of employees’ overall compensation, making this an issue of equal pay for equal work. If Elon’s first institutional priority truly is “An unprecedented university commitment to diversity and global engagement,” it makes zero sense that they would choose to showcase a company like Chick-fil-A in the new Lakeside Dining Hall with an expanded menu. I am very disappointed that leaders like Dr. Lambert and Dr. House have failed to speak up on behalf of the LGBTQ community in this situation. I hope that the vendor policy committee will create new guidelines that require the university to take into consideration vendors’ nondiscrimination policies and benefits packages before offering them contracts.

      • Sarah Dodge

        Isn’t difference the root of education? You can’t learn anything if you don’t have a clear understanding of the many sides of an argument. To say that bias things can’t happen in the classroom is asinine, as every person has a bias toward something. That’s human nature.

        We are horrible about having respectful disagreements at Elon, as evidence by this Chick-Fil-A debacle. However, we can not expect civil discourse if we are asking the people who lead us to choose a side on a campus that is not only divided, but also combative over this issue. Imagine the conflict that would have created. What if the administrators did not side with you? I’m certain that would have caused much more outrage than the diplomatic approach of the committee.

        Overall, I’m sorry to see Dr. House and Dr. Lambert criticized for staying neutral on such a contentious issue. While I don’t agree with all of their actions and would like to see them more outspoken on other issues, they have done far more good for this university than bad. We should be thanking them for the quality that our degrees will have when we leave Elon.

      • Johnny

        Shut up. You’re close minded and don’t know what you’re talking about you idiot. This has nothing to do with CFA and out leadership is the best out there. Transfer if you think otherwise you close minded fuck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rooster7865 James Cutler

    this article perfectly captures the reasons why i no longer bother with this organization and switched out of the journalism major. leo deserves our respect, not a long-winded and absurd insult to him and our administration. i sincerely hope this editorial goes viral so that y’all wake up and realize how negative this will be for the paper.

    and i know this whole CFA thing was a great, newsworthy issue in the fall, but please understand that the vast majority of students are apathetic to the subject. if y’all are trying to pick a bone with the president, chicken isn’t the place to start.

  • David Brown

    After this editorial I think the entire staff of the Pendulum has let down Elon University, and should consider stepping down for your lackluster performance as independent journalists and downright pretentious children. The fact that you would go about publishing an editorial admonishing Elon’s leadership is disgusting. Some of these men have accomplished more for this University and in their lives than most of you ever will. The CFA debate has remained neutral in the hands of the leadership because it is their obligation to provide an atmosphere where, WE THE STUDENTS, are able to discuss respectfully and make the decisions at hand with regards to the university. If you wanted a rash decision like the other schools in North Carolina than I suggest you join their monarchy of a system, but for now, your here. Leadership is about finding your own path and sticking too it. If you wanted President Lambert to follow in the likes of Harvard’s President, than would he not just be a follower? Leadership is more than what you discussed in your first paragraph of the editorial, but its also about learning when to sit down, pucker up, and learn a lesson from fellow academics, not just the leadership.

  • John

    Joke of an editorial. Elon is ranked as one of the “best run” schools in the country by people who know what they are talking about more than some heroes who publish an anonymous editorial to stir the pot. Pretty comical to be honest that people think CFA is the biggest issue facing our University. Leo Lambert and others have a lot more issues to deal with than a fast food chain on campus. Also Pendulum stop posting under every comment mentioning that this was an editorial and that it was a compilation of people. You published this trash in your newspaper and continue to be a joke in the eyes of much of the student body.

  • Pendulum…Go Home

    The fact that this is the opinion of the paper that represents our school is absurd. You guys bring down the University and its efforts for growth and National recognition.

  • Gabriela Szewcow

    You guys definitely burned some crucial sources with this one…

  • Dan Browne

    Wow, Pendulum. Please google Mark Emmert. You just got on his level. Credibility – gone. I am speechless that this article ever saw the light of day.
    Leo has done more to help Elon than any other person or organization in its history. Talk to him for five minutes and you’ll find out exactly how much he cares about Elon.
    That feeling that you probably have of guilt and regret… yeah, that’s not going anywhere. Years from now, when you play the “Things I regret I did in college” game, this will undoubtedly be near the top of that list.
    In my opinion, the only way out of this is a detailed follow-up editorial explaining how the Pendulum got hacked by Anonymous- no pun intended.
    P.S. The Jets locker room is apparently more transparent these days than the Pendulum.

  • Guest

    This article is an embarrassment to the Pendulum and to Elon University. Lack of quality sources cited here, and only inflammatory comments slamming the very respectable staff at our university. You all are just grabbing for stories and sensationalized information, because you know that no one reads or cares about your paper or articles unless you make things up to cause a stir. Face it, your quality keeps shrinking with articles like these, further harming your credibility. What a joke per usual.

  • http://twitter.com/elpasso89 Liz Passannante

    Despite the fact that your staff has clarified the difference between an anonymous editorial and an unsigned
    editorial in a stock comment that you have copied and pasted several times below, I find it to be an incredibly poor show of judgment to publish this piece of work without the writer’s names listed. Writing an article demanding opinions from senior leadership yet hiding behind an “Unsigned Editorial” is hypocrisy at its finest.

    The job of a university administration is not to pander to a popular opinion, yet to examine all sides of an issue and come to a consensus that benefits the ENTIRE student body. The issue of having Chik-Fil-A on campus is no doubt a contentious one, and my own personal beliefs aside, I fully believe taking rash action would have been the wrong decision in the long run. Establishing a Vendor Policy Committee was absolutely the right step to take here, and it does not represent “middling” leadership. Taking one incident and portraying it as a generalization to an absolutely incredible record of our senior administration is insulting to all of the hard work they do for the University.

    The most telling fact, however, of just how incredible our President and Provost are, is that they undoubtedly will read this excuse for an editorial and give it thoughtful consideration. Elon students should consider themselveslucky that their Administration, unlike this “newspaper”, understands the importance of respecting different opinions even when they may conflict with their own.

    Liz Passannante, Class of 2012

    • http://elonpendulum.com/ The Pendulum


      Any major newspaper, including the New York Times, features unsigned editorials. This is a hallmark of newspapers and not merely a choice that The Pendulum made to dodge accountability as you have suggested.

      The editorial does not state that our administration taking rash action would have been the right choice. In fact, we explicitly say that they made the right decision in not doing so. We are merely saying that one result of this decision is that it has diffused responsibility.

      Lastly, we are by no means knocking the administration as a whole. We acknowledge the incredible things they have done for our university but also know that when it comes to contentious issues, they are playing it safe.

      • KC

        Although you say you are not “knocking the administration as whole,” the headline of the editorial alone says otherwise. According to merriam-webster, lackluster = mediocre. So, in essence, the headline portrays that the Pendulum – and its entire staff – is “knocking the administration.”

      • JH

        Ah! So you are saying our administration is playing it safe on controvertial issues…and so is the point of an unsigned editorial. Hypocrisy at it’s finest, Pendulum.

  • TMB

    Leadership is a multi-faceted phenomenon. To say one thing is leadership and one thing is not is creating a polar society, which is what this article fights so fiercely against. Leadership, as our opinions, are not binary, they are a gradient. We are not black and white or strictly gay or straight students, we are a mixture of a multitude of desires, opinions, and ideas, much like a well-blended cookout milkshake.

    This article takes a hot-topic issue where our upper administration has “failed” to take a stance. This is thus seen as a failure of leadership to the Pendulum staff. To many who have not studied or witness quality leadership, it would appear this way. In our society, with the extreme partisan nature in our nation’s government, it is seen as weak leadership to not have a strong stance on a certain issue (think Romney is this past election). This though, i see, as a failure in leadership for it creates a polar leader, one who does not compromise nor consider the other side of the issue. It essentially eliminates a moderate viewpoint.

    Our upper administration has taken the middle ground in an issue that so many other “leaders” have taken a stance. They are doing what we need in our diverse nation, which is, walking the middle road. Elon, as our nation, is greatly divided on this issue. Thus, our campus leaders are representing their people correctly. They are keeping the doors open for compromise, which has become taboo in our society.

    I support out campus administration for they are doing the hardest thing by NOT taking a side. It is very easy to pick a side, to stay in the middle and put your personal feelings on the sidelines in order to effectively facilitate a compromise between two unrelenting sides is something every person should try and emulate.

    We live in a society of stark opinions. This is what makes America the best country in the world. We must also remember that because of this, compromise is the highest goal. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” (there is no astrek with happiness, it is unique to each person, we must know that). Thank you for your time -TMB

  • TMB

    Leadership is a multi-faceted phenomenon. To say one thing is leadership and one thing is not is creating a polar society, which is what this article fights so fiercely against. Leadership, as our opinions, are not binary, they are a gradient. We are not black and white or strictly gay or straight students, we are a mixture of a multitude of desires, opinions, and ideas, much like a well-blended cookout milkshake.

    This article takes a hot-topic issue where our upper administration has “failed” to take a stance. This is thus seen as a failure of leadership to the Pendulum staff. To many who have not studied or witness quality leadership, it would appear this way. In our society, with the extreme partisan nature in our nation’s government, it is seen as weak leadership to not have a strong stance on a certain issue (think Romney is this past election). This though, i see, as a failure in leadership for it creates a polar leader, one who does not compromise nor consider the other side of the issue. It essentially eliminates a moderate viewpoint.

    Our upper administration has taken the middle ground in an issue that so many other “leaders” have taken a stance. They are doing what we need in our diverse nation, which is, walking the middle road. Elon, as our nation, is greatly divided on this issue. Thus, our campus leaders are representing their people correctly. They are keeping the doors open for compromise, which has become taboo in our society.

    I support out campus administration for they are doing the hardest thing by NOT taking a side. It is very easy to pick a side, to stay in the middle and put your personal feelings on the sidelines in order to effectively facilitate a compromise between two unrelenting sides is something every person should try and emulate.

    We live in a society of stark opinions. This is what makes America the best country in the world. We must also remember that because of this, compromise is the highest goal. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” (there is no astrek with happiness, it is unique to each person, we must know that). Thank you for your time -TMB

    • CommAlum

      I completely agree with this statement on the principle of leadership. As an alum who was closely involved with the higher administration, especially Leo Lambert and Steven House, and as a student who has studied leadership and communications intensively, I see them as better leaders for not vocalizing their opinions on a hot-button issue and not shoving their opinions down student’s throats. Our administration has always had a wonderful way of encouraging intelligent discourse and allowing our student leaders to take a stand. I’m sorry for the staff of the Pendulum who chose to write an article condemning the leadership and character of their university’s leaders who worked so hard to fight for and create the opportunity for them to even voice such a negative opinion in a student newspaper, for clearly they did not take the time to research the subjects on which they write so decidedly.

      In my experiences, editorial articles in newspapers tend to be the most well-researched so the person can stand behind their decisions and it seems as though the Pendulum has gone downhill in choosing what facts it publicizes, and what lengths are necessary to gather proper information to put to print.

      While all people are entitled to their opinions, it seems the Pendulum decided to take one uninformed student’s opinion and run with it in a slanderous manner against some highly supported leaders for the sake of writing a “strong” piece. Shame on you, Pendulum for not speaking directly to the administration about these issues, and for not writing a balanced article. It was a cop-out to turn this into an “editorial” to hide behind anonymity. A staff editorial should not be written on such a debated issue that directly targets another person’s character. You are not the New York Times. You should be more careful with what you publish, and especially consider your audience.

      Congrats on writing an opinionated story for your resumes. Unfortunately when you mature and graduate you will realize your “public service” is a business and journalists should be just as careful about the topics they choose and the way they represent people within their audience.

  • Alex Sherron

    Isn’t part of your argument about taking a stance and being accountable? How are you accomplishing this by remaining anonymous? I realize this was “written by The Pendulum” but I know for a fact that not every writer, editor, etc. associated with The Pendulum agrees with the editorial. If the authors wanted to make a point and be credible they could have at least signed the editorial themselves.

    • Alex Sherron

      and for the record, it’s crap like this that makes other students pissed at how much money is thrown away into The Pendulum’s budget. Almost 25,000 dollars is used to pay staff at the newspaper, just so other students are aware.

  • Anonymous

    The Pendulum was just awarded by the Princeton Review as the number one best-run college. So you’re saying, a respected publication like the Princeton Review is an inaccurate judge of our university’s leadership – but you are?

    The decision I made to discontinue writing for the Pendulum has only been solidified by this editorial. Disrespectfully written and a poor example journalism.

    • Anonymime

      Wait wait wait….I thought the Princeton Review was a recap of where George Washington defeated the zombies at bunkles hill

    • ACTUALLY Anonymous


  • LameArticle

    This article makes me sad I can read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.hockaday.5 Katie Hockaday

    I think that the moment we fail to critically analyze our leadership, we are perpetuating the idea that it is okay to blindly follow leaders or doctrines simply because those in authority positions say so. Perhaps you feel strongly on either side about the issue discussed – that is not what is most important here. I believe that the most substantial idea to come from this article is that it is OKAY to criticize our leaders. It creates open debate and discussion about what Elon really wants as a community. The Pendulum has every right to do so, and I think Elon would be a better place if we put a critical eye on those we are listening to and following. This will help us to either reinforce our values, or explore options that are more helpful to the overall university and community. In this case students are being affected adversely – perhaps there are better options. It’s not that difficult. Question everything, y’all!

    • http://www.facebook.com/katie.hockaday.5 Katie Hockaday

      Also, it is hilarious to me how all of these people are talking about unwarranted attacks on leadership when they are in turn attacking The Pendulum, people who are against CFA, etc. It’s all about who is valued highest, I suppose…

      • Chris Sonzogni

        I find it ironic that you’re leading a charge to question leadership but critique the people who are criticizing the media. Seems to be a bit of a double-standard.

        And I would applaud the Pendulum for critiquing the administration if the administration actually deserved to be critiqued in this instance. However, the arguments presented in this opinion piece are pretty awful. Do you really want to know what Leo thinks about CFA? I don’t think so. I’d rather him base his decision on the needs and wants of the student body that he represents.

        • http://www.facebook.com/katie.hockaday.5 Katie Hockaday

          You have a point. My second comment stemmed from the sassy monologue in my mind and I will remove it. I knew it was going a bit too far. haha.

  • Aaron Richards

    This is absurd. Undermining the leadership–mind you one of the most celebrated administrations of any university in the country– over the CFA issue is a pathetic excuse for journalism. I appreciate the neutral stance of administrators and the way they facilitated the debate around the topic. I’m no fan of CFA, and I feel as if the Pendulum staff will discredit critics of this article by casting us off as individuals with a biased opinion stemming from a stance on CFA. This isn’t the case. It’s literally outrageous to continue to stir up controversy around the matter, and even more disheartening to see it done at the expense of our incredible university leadership. If you don’t think this administration has the best interest of students at heart, visit other schools and compare. There is a reason why our administration is renowned on a national level and this poor excuse of a school newspaper isn’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.warren.315 Sam Warren

    As someone who sat in on many private meetings with President Lambert, Dr. House, and many other members of our upper administration during my tenure at Elon University I can personally say that our administration is far from “lackluster.” The typical student and even the highest members of student press rarely get to see all that is involved in making these complicated decisions. I was one of the fortunate students who not only had the privilege of observing our campus administration in these situations, but also got to meet our Board of Trustees and see all that goes into their decisions as well. It’s not just one meeting or college coffee that will fix something as complicated as the CFA debate. If you recall we had a college coffee, 2 open forums, and multiple small group discussions before implementing procedures that addressed “Not On Our Campus”. Even today, the university is still most likely adding new things to improve the campus in order to address what happened over a year ago. Our administration is unlike any other and truly values the students of Elon University. I was never the only student in these meetings. To address Not On Our Campus we had countless meetings with multiple different students from all different walks of life. In these meeting we heard opinion for numerous students and listened to what they think Elon should do to address the sensitive topic. I can say after helping Elon address two large issues that happened while I was a leader on campus that these administrators take what students have to say and apply it in their solutions. No other school’s administration does that, Elon is truly a place where students can make a large impact. I am happy that they have taken so long to respond because it means that they are taking the same route and carefully seeking each avenue to resolving this complicated issue. I can assure you that they’ve met with many different students and are applying their voices and thoughts into the solution. They are taking their time to ensure the best result for all students and I’m happy that they are doing this instead of making a quick decision that could divide the campus even more.

    Regardless of my personal thoughts on the CFA issue, I think that it is right for the upper administration to not state how they personally feel. Our campus strives to be an open and accepting campus and in order to truly do that we all must see that there are some individuals who’s religious beliefs align with that of the CEO of Chick Fil A. It is a difficult decision to make because if you as an administrator take a side you will be condoning the views of a group of people at Elon University. I’d rather have the university carefully consider the topic and make the right decision for all students. A decision made after involving students, administrators, and the Board of Trustees. I think this article comes too soon and is written by people who aren’t necessarily wrong in their opinion, but rather were unaware of all that goes into these difficult situations and who also are unaware of how much the administration truly cares about students and their opinions. I am sure The Pendulum carefully sat for a long time to discuss this article before printing it and making your public statement. That is essentially what the upper administration is doing now, taking their time and carefully discussing what they want their statement to be. You owe more credit to them and owe them the chance to take their time to respond. They are far from “lackluster”, they’re the administration that created the strategic plan to bring our university to the stature that it is today. Because of them your degree is worth so much more, you go to a school with Phi Beta Kappa, and a university that is constantly praised by new sources such as the Princeton Review across multiple categories. It has taken them over 10 years to make Elon University as reputable as it is today and that turned out to be an excellent decision for both you and I. Allow them the time to carefully plan how to address this situation as well because in the end it has been their leadership that has steered the university to such great heights and I know that their leadership will help to carefully resolve this issue.

  • John Lynn

    It’s rare after graduating nearly three years ago that I have so many friends within a few hours direct me to a Pendulum article – unfortunately, it always seems to be a case similar to the one at hand.

    First and foremost, when I read articles written by multiple authors, it usually includes “Jim Smith also contributed to this article” so please do not avoid accountability under the guise of a group project. I’ve seen you respond multiple times saying you don’t feel the need to disclose authors so don’t bother replying to mine. I would say if you feel passionately about your views you should be proud and publicly stand up for them, but maybe national newspapers are wrong and the Pendulum is right.

    It is an absolute shame people mistake silence for mediocrity, it is a shame that some of our exposure to leadership has been so limited, and it is a shame that some of us are so closed minded that we only view leadership as an order coming down from someone in a higher position than our own telling us how to think or feel. Are we not intelligent enough to construct our own views? Do we need someone to tell us what is right or wrong? I would assume by this editorial you would answer in the affirmative to both. I have my own views on this issue as does everyone else, but they didn’t come from a quote of Dr. Lambert dictating something as right or wrong. I hope, whoever you are, that you’re able to learn from the responses in the comment section that your knowledge of leadership is extremely limited and you attempt to experience it before graduation as it was one of the greatest lessons I learned while at Elon.

    John Lynn
    Class of 2010

    • Tiffany Buchen

      I’m really disappointed at the sheer ignorance that people are showing about the authorship of this article. If you pick up any newspaper, yes even national newspapers, you will see that they have staff editorials. A staff editorial is something that is signed by the entire staff, hence the name STAFF editorial. Who actually put the words on paper is irrelevant because it is an article that is coming from the whole staff of the newspaper. The Pendulum isn’t just choosing to not reveal the authors, it is keeping with tradition. If you asked any other newspaper to reveal who had actually put the words on paper for their staff editorial, they would not reveal the name of that person, or those persons, either. If you want to critique the stance of this editorial, that’s perfectly fine, you have every right to disagree with The Pendulum on whatever topic you choose. But to have multiple people go on about the lack of an author just shows a lack of awareness as to what you are reading.

      • LynnRulesTiffDrools


        I’m really disappointed at the sheer ignorance of people who share your viewpoint. I agree with everything John said and basically nothing of what you said.

        I’m sorry it has to be this way. I did find this picture of an eagle in an attempt to console you. This eagle staring off into the sunset represents freedom, justice, and of course George Washington. The forefathers of this great nation loved Eagles and shunned people that enjoyed reading newspapers without credible authors.

        On eagles wings,


        P.S just mauled 2 CFA sandwiches while writing this :)

        • Tiffany Buchen

          I’m disappointed that you were unable to realize that what I said wasn’t a viewpoint, but merely a statement of fact about what an editorial is and how newspapers handle them.

          Personally, I also like George Washington and eagles, and Chick-fi-a, but not their sandwiches, I’m a fan of the nuggets.

        • http://www.facebook.com/theofficialjccrowder John Cameron Crowder

          I do not see the point of your “ad hominem fallacy”–there was nothing of any probative value in what you typed except to ignite ire–try again. Tiffany was only enlightening people of how editorials work–not stating some sort of controversial opinion, but you did not care in your rush to be argumentative. One person’s viewpoint does not equate to them not being patriotic anymore than Chick-Fil-A equates to Uncle Sam. Let’s think a little before we rush to broad, shortsighted generalizations, please.

  • Boo

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have
    ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you
    even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.
    Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read this. I award
    you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • JH

      10 points to Gryffindor!!!!!!!!

    • Guest

      Great Billy Madison reference

  • Guest

    Leo Lambert and the rest of the administration have done an incredible job dealing with issues such as this by leaving them up to the students, as they should be doing. They aren’t required to express their own views and honestly shouldn’t because that would cause a host of other issues that aren’t even worth dealing with. Shame on you for saying such things about our leadership that has devoted so much to the growth of our institution. I am appalled by what I just read and am even more embarrassed that the writers of this article hid behind the genre of “Op-Ed” piece so that they wouldn’t face the scrutiny that they knew would follow. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. As someone who actually reads The Pendulum every single week and has defended their questionable actions in the past, I draw the line here. You have seriously let me down as an organization and a representative of Elon.

  • Ben Waldon

    I deeply disappointed in the people who wrote this article . This is not good journalism, its mud slinging and digging up an old issue. President Lambert and Dr. House are two of the main reasons Elon has gained national prominence. They may run the school like a business sometimes but, it has worked and they’re the reason many of us are here.

  • CurrentStudent2014

    Disappointing. We are a community of Leaders. Instead of discussing this issue with the rest of the community, the Pendulum has decided to point an ignorant finger to someone other than themselves. The very people who gave you the freedom in this environment to print this awful rant. It’s about community discussion and involvement, not arrogant blame.

    “In the end, it is not about eating (or eating a certain chicken sandwich). It is about sitting down at a table together and sharing our views as human beings, engaged in real, respectful, civil dialogue. Dan would probably call this act the biblical definition of hospitality. I would call it human decency. So long as we are all at the same table and talking, does it matter what we call it or what we eat?”

    -Huffington Post “Shane L. Windmeyer: Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.morant Jerry James

    You Lie!

  • JH

    We have a school newspaper?!

  • Colonel Sanders

    Man why come I can’t get a chicken mcrib no more?

  • JC_Berger

    Well it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had feared from what everyone was saying (although the cartoon is another matter), but I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily thrilled with the message either. Yeah, while the the anonymity irks me a little bit (perhaps a list of people sponsoring the message at the bottom couldn’t have hurt), it’s not really what bothers me.

    The thing that gets me more than the message, is the method. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the LGBT movement and the promotion of equal rights for all, but I have to take issue with the relevance and timing of the article. The whole situation happened several months ago, and while decisive action has not occurred yet, a committee was established to investigate the broader aspects of the matter (i.e. other social issues). Even if today (or yesterday, or whenever) was election day for SGA, what is the purpose of attacking the stances (or non-stances, so to speak) of the administration? Is the plan to elect someone that will subpoena Lambert and House before a committee hearing, just to find out their position on the matter? No, that’s not going to happen.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with voicing your opinion, but it becomes irresponsible when you use a narrow issue to apply a broad characterization of something or someone. While I hate to be this harsh, you have essentially done what Fox News does. You have taken one issue that could perhaps use some improvement, and generalized it to imply that the administration is, overall, “lackluster,” which is not only untrue, but unfair.

    So feel free to voice your opinion–in this case, I, personally, believe we should not tolerate intolerance (And before anyone jumps on that statement, there is a huge difference between a laissez-faire, willy-nilly, anything-goes existence, and tolerance. Tolerance isn’t about getting to do or believe whatever you want, it’s about respecting others and their views as much as yourself and your views.), but Lambert and the rest of the administration have a responsibility to be the “cooler heads,” to make sure we don’t just react to the issue, but that we resolve the issue. Your views aren’t unwarranted, they are just overly broad. I firmly believe there was a better way to approach this issue that would not have been so sensational, so that the concerns would have been listed clearly and the analyses more precisely.

  • Churkey Took


  • Will Armour

    While writing an unsigned staff editorial is well within The Pendulum’s rights and is a long-standing tradition of the paper, it is a misguided choice to complain anonymously about a lack of accountability and responsibility. How can we take a critique of responsible leadership seriously when it is made with a distinct lack of accountability?

    My biggest problem with the article itself is its lack of awareness of the complexities of leadership. The assertion that leaders should be required to take a strong public stance on all controversial issues is shockingly short-sighted. I choose to believe that, despite this article’s implication, Leo Lambert’s decision to withhold his personal views was not based on his affinity for retweets, but rather a refusal to misuse his power by overruling/overpowering the voice of the student body.

    I’m curious to know whether the ENTIRE staff has had their views represented accurately in this article. I would hope they have, because if not, the leadership of The Pendulum has committed the exact error in judgment that it requests of Leo Lambert: rushing to take a strong stance while ignoring the importance of accurate representation.

    I also wonder whether The Pendulum is pleased with the responses to this article. Based on their responses to comments, my guess is that they are. Their goal with this article was to launch a conversation among Elon students about what we expect and require from our leaders, and that is clearly happening. The problem is that this conversation stems from the anger of students and alumni who feel that The Pendulum has displayed disgraceful and irresponsible journalism. The conversation they wanted has happened, but at what cost? Personally, I chose to speak up today because I am embarrassed by this article and The Pendulum, which is unfortunately the most readily audible representation of the Elon student body.

    I, for one, am very glad that our President has displayed the ability to facilitate and encourage healthy debate without stirring up unnecessary controversy in the process. The Pendulum should take notes.

    Will Armour, Class of 2011

    • Anonymous

      Speaking to your question about whether all staff members agree – as a former staff member on The Pendulum, I can remember many times when myself and other staff members thoroughly disagreed with the editorial stance on an issue, but that didn’t really affect any change. This left me continually frustrated that my name, as a staff member of The Pendulum, was attached to something I did not agree with. I cannot say what the deal is with the current staff, but I’d be very surprised if everyone was mostly in agreement with this editorial. And even if everybody was, I am pretty concerned – after all, this is a BOLD editorial, which is okay, but it needs to be questioned, revised, re-written, discussed over and over again. And yeah, maybe that happened, but clearly something was missing in the process, because this is one of the weakest editorials I’ve ever read in The Pendulum’s recent history – mostly because of the lack of real facts or argument.

      If staff members did, in fact, raise concerns about this editorial being published, that is a clear, obvious sign that further investigation, research and finessing must take place before such a controversial editorial is authored, so that everybody is satisfied and in agreement with the editorial. That is what I believe the key problem in this editorial was – not enough research, hard facts and evidence can support such a “bold” argument. I am all for challenging and questioning our administration and leaders, but only when it is appropriate to do so and only when there is enough evidence – not just one somewhat recent instance – to support such a bold claim. Go ahead and dig up controversy – that’s what the watchdog role of a journalist is, but do so when it is appropriate and when you can actually make a valid, well-supported argument. Until then, keep to the facts.

  • Steve Roth

    alright, that’s a sweet drawing of steven house…. well done…

  • Jack Minor Jr.

    It’s really easy to throw stones from a distance. By writing this article and not having the courage to put your name on it you have done what you charge the administration with. If you truly felt this passionately about the situation, shouldn’t you have the courage to take a stand? But no, it’s easier to judge from a distance and complain when every decision does not improve your own interests.

  • M

    Pointless and fluffy but accurate

  • DannyBoy

    In this wonderful land we live in, having voices on both sides of a topic is part of us all having Freedom of Speech. I have read many of the comments on this topic and do find it simply amazing how many people care more about who signed or didn’t sign the article. To those who think the Pendulum is hiding behind a shield, that is what a staff article is about. I wonder how many of you have read a staff article that you agreed with, did you care who wrote the article then? I would tend to think not. The Pendulum is a highly decorated school newspaper which you should be proud of. Some of the articles will inspire you, while some of the articles will draw some ire from you. Do you agree with everything your elected politician does? Do you write to them and say “I vehemently disagree with how you voted on this piece of legislation!”. I tend to doubt that too. Disagreement on how you feel about this topic is simply delineated by whether you are for or against the article. If your against the article, cool, maybe next time you will for the article written.

    I will state, in my opinion, our society has become that middle of the road, can’t make a decision, everything has to be politically correct type of society. The highest leaders in our land, the executives running our government, can’t make a decision. Whether you are republican or democrat, to see the political wrangling is disgusting. We put these people in office to serve us. Remember “We The People”? Decisions in our government take forever. We need to have presidents sit for 8 years now because that is how long it takes to move the rock 1″ forward it seems. Every decision that has to be made cannot take forever to make. Sometimes, as this article implied to me, was “let’s go people….and the decision is”. I doubt seriously that Mr. Lambert is incompetent or “lackluster” (maybe a poor choice of words), but maybe more to the point a decision needs to be made. Can somebody update where we stand in the process? When will a decision be rendered? Sometimes, when administrators try to examine a situation from all sides, we get paralyzed in the analysis of the decision at hand.

  • William James ’11

    When has silence been a sign of a weak leader? From your own words, you state that President Lambert engaged the student body about a student-led and student-driven issue and EMPOWERED the student body to take the final stance. Isn’t that a sign of a great leader? Empowering those with conflict to resolve the issue among themselves? In the shining moment of an issue empowering young, intelligent adults to pick up the conversation on a challenging topic, to resolve the issue with just a small nudge from the administration, that (in this article) you wish there was more oversight and dictation from the top?

    Leaders don’t lead by pushing conversation, rather by directing conversation.

  • William James ’11

    When is silence a sign of poor leadership? For a student-led, student-driven issue, the president allowed the student body to pick up the conversation and find middle ground; when it was needed, he stepped in and provided enough momentum to find the resolution. Why is a stance necessary there? Isn’t that a sign of great leadership? To empower those with conflict to resolve the issue amongst themselves? In the shining moment of a challenging issue affecting a vast majority of students, the administration, with a small nudge in creating a subcommitee, empowered intelligent students and emerging leaders to pick up the conversation and resolve the issue. Yet, (from this article) you wanted more oversight, more dictation?

    Strong leaders don’t force the conversation, but rather direct it. This administration directed the students to resolve a student-led issue. It was the right call.

  • Concerned Reader

    Hello Pendulum Staff,
    After reading this article I was admittedly upset about both the content and the accusations tossed around by the editorial staff. I would like to dress some the merits of argument addressed in the article and talk about some of person observation.First, it is in by belief that the School Administration represents the entry student body, and because of that fact should remain neutral in their dealings with such issues. Second, it is perspective that because of the Administration’s professionalism and leadership they have refrained from commenting on this divisive subject. The fact is that if any member of the school administration had voiced their personal opinions on the CFA subject it would not have made the CFA debate in more civil, rather it would have driven greater divide in student body. Lastly, I would like to know why the editorial staff has chosen to write an article like this at this time it only serves to inflame an already very divisive subject by adding to controversy with accusations that our school administration is someway represent mediocre and lackluster leadership; was it not recently that the Princeton Review has named Elon the Best-Run University in the nation. The paper and editorial staff should be focusing on the issues rather creating them. It seems that a paper like the Pendulum be reporting the news instead of making the news. Should it not be the responsibility of Elon news organization to report and sponsor an intelligent discussion on the issue that faces the Elon community, the State, and the Nation. While I do see that publishing this article has probably added to views online and to your overall readership, I think tabloid journalism like
    the article above is one of the reasons why journalism and the media in general are held in such low esteem today, I aspect better.
    A Concerned Reader

  • Jimmy John

    The Pendulum is a joke and should not be associated with Elon. You guys suck in all aspects of being a “newspaper” and represent .1% of the students. Leo Lambert is arguably the best college president in the country and here you are taking a stance against him for not getting rid of CFA. Well you can go fuck yourselves and your close minded opinions. You GDI comm majors can transfer if you hate it that much and I promise not a soul will care. #43 undergrad business scholl in the country and #1 best run school long live Elon and our degrees that are getting stronger by the year. Thank you Leo for making my degree the most valuable it can be. A dedicated president who cares of Elon students as if they were his kids.

  • Corey Jahner

    This is just plain sad. I saw the headline and immediately double-checked the address bar to make sure I hadn’t stumbled onto The Onion. Then I finished reading, and checked again. Sadly, this came from what is ostensibly the “student newspaper” at my beloved alma mater.

    So you acknowledge the stand they took regarding racism, but note that it was “not praiseworthy.” But then you advocate that they should take cues from other school leaders who have taken stands involving …wait for it….racism? Real well thought out line of reasoning there.

    The fact of the matter is that if you don’t recognize the greatness of Elon’s leadership, you are paying absolutely zero attention. I don’t even feel the need to elaborate on this point, because dozens of comments from my fellow alumni and current students have already done so elsewhere in this comments section. But it is completely out of line for you to blast the top-notch administrators that Elon is lucky enough to have, solely on the basis of one decision that you don’t happen to agree with.

    And we all understand the boilerplate you keep spewing about what a “staff editorial” is. What I find mind-boggling is the fact that the irony and outright hypocrisy of using it as a forum to bash someone else for taking a public stand seems COMPLETELY lost on you.

    This is just plain embarrassing. I hope you’re enjoying that shiny new office space that our fine University’s “middling” leadership has provided for you.

    Corey Jahner, class of ’08

  • Lauren

    …wait, isn’t part of the college experience about students forming their own opinions and figuring out how to tackle social issues on their own? So letting the students handle things and learn from each other and experience, rather than forcing administration opinions on us is…poor leadership?

  • Mike

    Really, Anonymous author? How can you criticize leaders of the university for not standing up to a belief if you can’t even take ownership of your asinine article?

    My biggest gripe is with The Pendulum. “Editorials and unsigned articles are attributed to The Pendulum. These
    reflect the views of the news organization.” Oh, so the views expressed in
    this article are those of the news organization? I hope you know how much you guys look like a bunch of fools allowing this once dead, now resurrected argument define your paper.

  • MP


  • John Tinkelenberg

    Antagonizing and biting the hand isn’t going to help your cause. You’ve just torched your access to these individuals for not only yourselves, but anyone else that works for The Pendulum in the future.

    Don’t take the administration’s hesitation for apathy. Leo is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. This is the Bible Belt. Who do you think donates to this school? Leaders pick and choose their battles, or else they’re out of a job, and replaced with worse leaders.

    Our administration also recognizes the fact that there is a silent majority that doesn’t see how the presence of a chicken restaurant impacts the acceptance of homosexual students. Comparing this to the racial slur situation is absolutely asinine. Those slurs can be perceived as threats. A fast-food option really can’t.

    If you chase out Chick-fil-A for this reason, you might as well start chasing out all your Christian friends. “They don’t belong here,” you say. “They’re out to get us.” That’s the same flawed logic fascist empires used 70 years ago. The most effective aggressors think they’re on the defensive. The best way is to be accepted is to be accepting.

  • Avery McGaha

    Why settle for a lackluster newspaper? I think I’ll stick to Gossip Squirrel

  • Kevin lynch

    I’ve never commented on a news article ever – but I have to say that I’m embarrassed that the authors of this article go to the same school I do. I have personally seen senior staff go above and beyond to implement the suggestions of students. They are excellent at their jobs and deserve our gratitude and respect. CFA is an issue that should be resolved by students and trustees. I am grateful the senior staff demonstrated the restraint necessary to allow us to do this.

  • Andrew

    As an Alumni, I’m disappointed in this article. The President of the United States will never have everyone agree with his/her decisions. Pendulum, don’t throw dirt at the leadership of the University because of a few things you disagree with. When you get in the real world, you won’t agree with your peers, your boss, or your employees all the time. Should you fire them because they don’t do exactly what you want all the time? Should you get fired because you don’t agree with your boss on everything they say? The answer is no.

    The reality is that at Elon, we have some of the best and finest leaders in the United States at a College or University. Have you been to other colleges? Have you seen how they are run? They schools can’t come close to being as run as well as Elon is run. Elon is a hard school to get into. It’s very popular. 10 years ago that was not the case. Elon does things the right way. They have that “it” factor. Please – walk into other public or private universities and find a school that is any where near Elon’s class.

    Pendulum, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Leo Lambert and other members of the leadership team are of the highest class that you will find. Here’s a fact, you’ll never agree with everything they do. What would you be doing if you were in their shoes (besides obviously agreeing with whatever political, racial, or religious points you just made)?

    Elon is great. Leo Lambert is one of the main (and many) reasons why Elon is the prestigious school you see today.

    My advice: Challenge the issues with the University that you want challenged. The university likes that! You are passionate about what you believe, and the University likes seeing that. Just don’t call them lackluster because you don’t agree with them. That’s juvenile.

  • Guest

    Welp, I’d say the pendulum is certainly swaying in favor of the people unassociated with the article. *drops mic*

  • WorkerBee

    despite the number of comments disagreeing with this editorial and throwing insults at the Pendulum staff, I know (as someone who works at Elon) that many people agree with the sentiment of this editorial.

  • Anonymous Student

    Okay, so since everyone has been commenting on this article for some time, I’d like to offer a response.
    First, let me develop my credibility: I am a student who in past years has had the opportunity to work very closely with members of Senior Staff; I have met with most of them personally, I understand their vision and their goals for the university, and most importantly, I know which issues are most important to them.
    Now, with that being said, a few things should be clarified, based off the comments.

    1) I have great personal and professional respect for Dr. House and Dr. Lambert. They are both very passionate about the university. They also work really, really hard – sometimes 12 hour days.

    2) Despite their positions within the campus community, they should not be exempt from criticism – as long as it is sound. Good criticism, or maybe we should use the word “feedback”, is necessary for someone who holds such a position to continue to do their jobs well.

    3) The Pendulum passed up a good opportunity to treat issues that are of importance. Chick-fil-A should have NEVER been the issue that they used as an example of poor leadership, because it is in fact such a DIVISIVE issue. In conversations with current students, it seems to me that their greatest criticisms of Senior Staff include the following: not enough of a commitment to improving the academic climate of the campus and failing (at times) to recruit and retain students of the highest academic caliber. Why not write an article using such examples? They are not too tough to find.

    4) Because of the use of Chick-fil-A, which alienates many members of the campus community, you, The Pendulum, have seriously damaged your credibility. As someone who cares deeply about our university, I suggest that you do a better job consulting closely with concerned members of the campus community when constructing such an article. To be completely honest, your writing was not particularly strong (even for a journalistic piece), left the reader confused at times as to what your argument was, and failed ultimately to resonate with the community. I encourage you to be more selective in who you accept to serve on your editorial board if you want to foster constructive discussion regarding our leadership.


  • Rob Saunders

    I had not planned to comment on The Pendulum’s editorial regarding Dr. Lambert and his “lackluster leadership” yet after reading the new issue of Triad Living Magazine I felt compelled to do so. While the editorial staff of The Pendulum was writing their critical piece on Dr. Lambert and Dr. House, I felt that is was ironic that Pendulum news editor Katherine Blunt was writing the article “Flying High” in the spring 2013 issue of Triad Living Magazine. This article doesn’t discuss Dr. Lambert’s lackluster leadership yet instead praises Dr. Lambert and the many positive impacts he has had not only on Elon but in the local community as well. And while I respect the editorial staff’s right to have their opinion, it is nice to know that not everybody at The Pendulum shares that opinion. Very well written article Katherine, well done!
    -Rob Saunders ’08

  • Sylvia

    The saying don’t bite the hand that feeds you exists for a reason. President Lambert invites students to his home multiple times a year, and always greets students on the paths between classes. Do you think the Presidents of Harvard or Notre Dame do that? By not overstepping and by keeping his opinion to himself he is allowing students to defend themselves and spurring healthy debates on campus. That’s what college is about, finding your voice and figuring out how to stand up for what you believe.

    Elon University is a business. Yes, it’s an amazing school and all of us who attended call it home, but at the end of the day, it still needs to make money so that it can continue to educate more students for years to come. Therefore, if President Lambert and the Board feel that it is in the best interest of the university to maintain business relations with Chick-Fil-A, and in doing so to not burn bridges with other companies, I support that decision. I also think it is a very smart move for President Lambert and Dr. House not to say what their personal stances are on the subject because there is no reason to mix their business and personal lives. They both have done an amazing job building up the university to where it is today without including their personal opinions on topics, and I’d prefer it remain that way.

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