You can’t bury truth in the trash

We do not know who dumped hundreds of Feb. 20 Observers in the trash; we do not know why you did what you did. But the editorial staff of the Observer writes this so you understand what our purpose is as a news organization. We write this editorial so you understand how you insulted the Augustana community. 
In many ways, producing news is an arduous undertaking. The Observer’s staff of 30 writers, photographers, designers, videographers and editors spends every week of the school year pitching assignments, corresponding with and interviewing sources, planning, drafting, revising, fact-checking, acknowledging our bias and re-writing. Every week, we spend hours drawing, designing, recording and taking photos. 
We don’t do it for the minimum-wage pay or the single line on our résumés but because the Observer has a responsibility to seek truth. We push forward with exhausting questions and relentless deadlines because we recognize our duty to do justice to Augie’s stories. We do it in order to bring you as complete a picture as we can about the place you go to school, find yourself and grow – the place you live. 
And we take this relationship seriously. 
So when you throw Observers in the trash, you aren’t just burying news. You are erasing people’s stories and a collective history of a place to which you belong. It is a collection of experiences that we all are a part of – that you help shape.
Regardless of how unpopular our articles are or how difficult the subject matter is, the Observer will not stop doing its duty. We will look for truth even when it is ugly and complicated and doesn’t paint a positive picture. We will continuously seek your voice even when you are afraid, because it matters that you are heard. We will encourage you again and again to engage with us, to challenge us, to write letters to the editor, to get into respectful debates with friends and strangers over what you read. 
We are Augustana’s history, current events and future – a force too powerful to be buried in the trash.