EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCONTROVERSIAL COLUMN
from Eyewitness News Online
A Marshall Journalism Student Writes A Controversial Article
Reported by: Katy Brown
Videographer: Katy Brown
Web Producer: Katy Brown
Also Contributing: Kenney Barnette, Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 15, 2012 10:21 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 16, 2012 8:09 AM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Opinion columnist Henry Culvyhouse titled his article, Time Heals All Wounds. It's a piece focusing on Culvyhouse's opinion that current Marshall students need to move on from the 1970 plane crash where 75 people died.
"If you talk to anyone from the outside, 'Hey that's where the plane crashed' and...that's the only thing the outside is defining us as," said Culvyhouse, "and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we kind of let that happen on the inside. We're the ones defining ourselves."
The public's response was mixed. Most of it was negative and some even threatening.
But the newspaper's editor, Shane Arrington, said by publishing the piece the organization was was protecting their first amendment rights.
"Parthenon. Columnist. Not the same thing. We are simply the medium that gives people the right, the ability to express themselves. But it's not the reflection of us," said Arrington.
But one Parthenon staff member found the piece to be personally offensive.
Bishop Nash's uncle, Barry Winston Nash, was number 35 for Marshall in 1970.
He was on the plane and in now buried at Springhill Cemetery with fellow fallen players.
"One of the things that really hit me in his column was he said, 'Oh, these kids they were born 20 years after the fact. They don't know.' Well you know what? He doesn't know," said Bishop Nash, "I see it in my grandfather. I see it and that's enough. "
But Arrington believes Culvyhouse knows the importance of remembering those involved in the Marshall 1970 tragedy.
"I mean we all understand and I truly believe he understands that this is a big deal for the community," said Arrignton, "And of course it's something that affects each and every person that was in Huntington at the time, that was born into Huntington after that, or for most of us who even came here."
However, Culvyhouse stands behind what he wrote. He says it isn't about whether it is right or wrong. It's about his freedom of speech.
"You really don't have much of an emotional connection to this. And that's how I perceived it and that's my opinion and I'm not backing down from that."
A columnist for The Parthenon, Marshall University’s student newspaper, has touched off a storm of controversy by maintaining that the school needs to move beyond its annual remembrance of the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people, including the university’s football team.
The column by Henry Culvyhouse on Thursday in the school’s newspaper has drawn angry comments on Facebook and came one day after the university marked the 42nd anniversary of the plane crash with a ceremony on campus.
In the column, Culvyhouse said the ceremony had become “devoid of meaning.”
“The point I’m trying to get to is this: why must the Herd constantly be cast in the shadow of reaction? Our campus rhetoric indicates that we are constantly battling this tragedy. Instead, let’s just call a spade a spade and acknowledge our student body has nothing to be reacting to here, just for the simple fact that we were not around,” Culvyhouse wrote.
“Let’s instead look toward the future of this university, not in with the lenses of grief, but with the optimism of an institution that is looking for bountiful success. We are Marshall because we want to be Marshall. The phoenix rises from the ashes new and after flying through blue skies, stops looking at the fire he came from.”
One Facebook comment was from Randy Burnside who said, “Kid, you just do not get it. The crash does not define Marshall. Marshall's response to the crash is what defines Marshall. You have missed the entire point. When we remember, we not only honor them, but we celebrate an incredible community that serves as a living testimonial to all that is good about human resilience and the healing power of love that makes us who we are.”
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