I Apologize for My Behavior

Editor’s note: Staff writer Matt Frohlich submitted the following after being contacted by opinion editor Erik Jonasson and editor-in-chief Erica Nitschke about The Spectrum‘s decision to no longer approve staff contributor’s comments on ndsuspectrum.com articles. Frohlich’s choice to apologize was without prompt or guidance by The Spectrum staff. 

A couple people whom I respect contacted me earlier this week expressing concern that some of my choices at The Spectrum have been unprofessional. I have thought about what they said, and though I do not enjoy admitting it, I acknowledge they were right.

I could explain what led me to believe my behavior was justified, but I have decided it would be best to simply apologize.

I still stand behind the opinions I have expressed in The Spectrum, but not necessarily the way I expressed them.

I understand my opinions are unpopular, and as such, a certain amount of tension was unavoidable, even if I had done everything right. That being said, there are several things I admit to doing that have made the situation worse:

  • I referred to specific local people and/or organizations in articles I wrote. This is probably what I feel the worst about. I apologize to anybody I directly called out. In particular, there is a student activist organization, academic department and an NDSU employee I directly referred to in an article I wrote several weeks ago.

While I still would be interested in entering a discussion with these people, I admit that this was not the right way to initiate this discussion, and I truly am sorry.

  • I made an effort to directly respond to every form of criticism I received, whether it be on the online comments section or by writing articles in response. At first I justified this on the grounds that it sparked lively debate, but in hindsight I realize that it almost immediately devolved into me forcing people into arguments.

I admit that not only was this disrespectful towards these people, but it also made The Spectrum look bad, as well.

  • I was particularly hard on feminists. Though I still strongly disagree with what they say, I wish I had found a better way of expressing this disagreement.

Just to be clear, I understand that a person is more than an ideology they choose to associate with, and as such, I do not consider myself to be morally superior to feminists.

Moving forward, I realize that the school year is winding down, so in the interest of finishing what I started, I will continue writing for The Spectrum. There are still several issues I have not yet had a chance to cover.

I will be graduating, and as such will not be able to write for The Spectrum next year. But even if I were able to, people are understandably upset with me, and it is on these grounds that I probably would not continue writing.

I realize that I have received nearly as much support as I have criticism, but I still feel like I have let down the NDSU community. It is for this reason that I apologize.

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