Ask Smalls, the ‘know-it-all’ bod


Google is a great source, but sometimes it feels better to get advice from a real person, which is why Student Media has initiated an advice column. This advice column will be written by an anonymous author to ensure trust with the students. The author should be a student who has life experience but will endure necessary research to ensure honest advice to the students.

The advice column will be constructed for students to anonymously ask their questions by submitting them in the dropbox. The dropbox will be a sealed and safe submission box, which will be located outside of the student media office, located in the Union Underground. The author will randomly choose three questions to answer in each publication of the paper. Students will be advised to sign their questions with something that they will be able to recognize in the paper when their question will be answered. Student Media will also be working on a way for students to submit their questions online while still remaining anonymous.

The purpose of this column focuses around the fact that many of us have stressful situations that we desperately need advice for. Not all questions have to be stressful, students can ask general questions concerning skin care, relationship advice, how to address your professor via email, best pizza places to dine in Topeka and so on. By submitting your question, you could be helping someone else who is in the same boat as you. Keep in mind that the author is a student as well and is excited and open to help students in whatever way they can.

Some questions to ask can include advice about campus policies and procedures, personal health, admissions and financial aid advice or whatever the student needs answered. 

This specific column differentiates from any other columns we have in the newspaper now because this gives students the opportunity to ask whatever they want and receive a judgement-free response while remaining anonymous.

The advice column is expected to publish their first set of responses in the Oct. 17 publication. Students are encouraged to continue to submit their questions.

A word from Smalls: “I decided that this column would help not only the students, but the newspaper as well. I realized that there are a lot of students who don’t read the paper, and maybe having this article would help us receive more readers, as well as being a safe place for students to help each other and themselves. While holding on to their own confidentiality, and individuality. Some of the things we do, as human beings are downright gut wrenching, some not so bad. I know that when I was younger, if I was brave enough to ask some of the things I was wondering, I could’ve saved myself a lot of damage by just asking, instead of learning it all for myself. But I’ve decided to use my experience in hopes that I could help someone else in the long run.” The author requested to remain anonymous as a sense of trust, “If nobody knows, then nobody can tell. Just know that it’s real people asking real questions, and a real person answering real questions as well.”

Junior Niki Leduc is interested in the new advice column.

“I think having an anonymous advice column available to students can be really funny, or it can hit really deep,” Leduc said. 

Freshman Unique Grady believe this experience could be beneficial to many students.  

“I believe it will give students the ability to learn. Whatever questions they submit anonymously and receive a published response back, can give the students critical ideas and feedback. The feedback they receive can be a big help to them in so many different ways,” Grady said. “When students ask questions, they need to understand that there is no such thing as a dumb question, it’s dumb not to ask a question. When you ask questions, they will give you the ability to better understand, as well as recognizing that you will receive a judgment free response.”

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for an “Ask Smalls” submission box.