This is a guest editorial by former AEE employee Amber Kemmerly.  To read Nick Fontenot's original op-ed piece, click here.  To read the response from the editor of ultoday.com, click here, and from former writer Sam Stokes, click here.

The first online edition of The Vermilion, the University of Louisiana’s official newspaper, was published recently. It was a giant leap forward in presenting everything good about the University to both students and alumni alike, and it has great potential in being used as an excellent marketing tool in promoting the University as it is completely public and no longer confined to the racks in the academic buildings. Unfortunately, the editor of our school newspaper, Nick Fontenot, made the decision to publish an opinion piece in this dawning of a new age for the paper.

And while Mr. Fontenot could have made the content of his op-ed pro-UL, and used the power he has been given to promote peace on UL’s campus toward the flagship behemoth that is LSU, he chose to write a most unprofessional, childish, and offensive article.

In summation, Mr. Fontenot’s article is about the treatment of LSU and other college fans on UL’s campus. He wanted to make the point that Ragin’ Cajuns can be Tiger fans, as well. He claims that UL students accost other students wearing LSU gear, while leaving students wearing other universities’ clothing relatively untouched, and mentions lightly this rivalry UL has imagined that LSU could care less about. He also says that he “likes” UL but “loves” LSU, and that while he was accepted to LSU, he chose to go to UL because it was cheaper and closer to home.

I am not going to argue that Mr. Fontenot can’t have his cake and eat it, too. A Louisiana school is a Louisiana school to me, and no matter what, I’ll always root for the home state in sports. Anything good that a Louisiana program does around the country reflects on the state as a whole. I agree with him that you can be a fan of both schools.

What I do take offense to in this article is the above-mentioned like/love comments, his feelings regarding attending UL, and his language in expressing his distaste for hecklers on campus. His dismissal of a decades-old struggle for recognition as a university that could, if allowed by the legislature, be on par with LSU academically I’ll not go into, because that red-and-black horse has been beaten so many times it is definitely dead, and no one hears the beatings anymore. I say academically because academia is our strong point, and LSU deserves to be the flagship being the oldest and largest public university, and it’s in the capital. Huge selling points that UL, unfortunately, could not, and I think would not, compete with at this time.