Here they are- the readers' repsonses to Suicide is Inconvenient. The article was ran in the University Daily Kansan on Thursday, February 19, 1998. These are the responses from the Monday, February 23, 1998 edition. Needless to say, people were none too thrilled with it. Here's all of them:

Readers' response: Suicide editorial insensitve, not humorous

    Late one evening this summer, I was relaxing in my apartment. I received a phone call from my girlfriend at the time, and she was crying. She could barely speak. When I finally calmed her down, and got her to talk, she told me that her 13 year-old step-brother had hung himself with a belt in the shower. I didn't get a wink of sleep that night. The following morning, I drove home to be with her, and I attended the funeral that week. The church was overflowing with Jason Dailey's classmates, teachers, friends and family. It was one of the worst moments of my life to see a boy so young and full of life, laid to rest at the age of 13.
    I read Nick Spacek's column in the University Daily Kansan, making a big joke out of suicide. Now, I am a very easy-going person with a very dry sense of humor, but I fail to see the humor in Nick's story. I can say for a fact that I am not alone in having this opinion either. I can guarantee that nobody who attended Jason Dailey's funeral would have laughed.
    I am like many KU students who have had a close encounter with suicide. My step-sister attempted to take her own life when I was in high school. I amvery thankful that she failed and is still alive today. I can't imagine life without her.
    When I went home for winter break after my first semester at the University of Kansas, I was told that one of my high school classmates had shot himself. Suicide is not omething that should be looked at in a satirical way. I understand that people are entitled to freedom of speech, but there must be a line drawn somewhere. I can understand that if there were an article published about suicide, but Spacek's article served no purpose.
    It was simply a misguided attempt at comedy. I guess i just don't understand how someone could submit an article to the Kansan, with a complete lack of passion. How could one not realize the effects of such a thing? I am not trying to preach, and I am certainly not attacking the Kansan, but I would encourage writers and editors to consider the consequences of their words.
    As for Nick Spacek, the next time you write a column, think about the people it might hurt and put yourself in their shoes. When someone close to you takes their life, good luck finding a shoulder to cry on.
           Ryan Riggin
            Topeka junior

    Nick Spacek's column was by far one of the most upsetting ediorials we have read that has been published in the University Daily Kansan. Nick's words were completely heartless and totally did not consider the feelings of someone who have ever lost someone to suicide. If this is Nick's idea of humor, he needs to have his head checked. He trivialised suicide... which is a leading cause of death among those of us between the ages of 18 to 24.
    Sorry Nick, suicide can't be approached satircally. It only takes a moment for someone to end their life. Maybe when it's someone you love, you'll understand it can happen in a residence hall. It can happen anywhere.
           Gillian Burrow
            Lincoln, Neb., junior

            Kate McGee
            Loveland, Colo., junior

    I was reading Nick's Spacek's column about suicde and wondering, "where's the punch line?" He seemed to have no compassion whatsoever to the problem of suicide. I know several people who have tried to kill themselves, and me tell you that it is not funny. Individuals who are suicidal are experiencing a high level of depression, fear and lost hope that most of us cannot possibly imagine. Even joking about cancer or AIDS, while in poor taste, would not be as bad as making fun of suicide. Making fun of these two diseases is not going to increase. Making fun of suicide, however, might cause it to happen. Suicidal individuals are- surprise- suicidal. Though this may sound overly dramatic, they really don't need to be picked on. It just adds to their already back-breaking problems.
           Erik Goodman
            Dayton, Ohio, soph.
    It must be a slow week for news. Newsweek has Monica Lewinsky on the cover for the second time this month and Nick Spacek can think of nothing else to write about other than an incredibl thoughtless piece on suicide.
    More than 200 people, including RA's, senior, professional, and maintenance staff, commit countless hours to the residential students at the University of Kansas. They are dedicated to the academic, emotional, and social concerns of their residents. They strive to provide strong, intentional communities where students get help not only from the RA's, but from each other and themselves. Unfortunately, this dedication often goes unappreciated because freshman journalists like Nick Spacek write idiotic and insensitive pieces like the one found in the Unviversity Daily Kansan on February 19.
    Residence halls will always be the butt of jokes about collge. They will also be a place where many college students begin prosperous careerss that lead to big and better things. They will always be a place where the only objective is the success of the students who live there. I am truly sorry that people like Nick Spacek don't appreciate that.
        Emily Ronning
        Star Prairie, Wis., graduate student
    I am sincerely troubled by the column written by Nick Spacek that was printed on Thursday, February 19. As a resident assistant for the Lewis and Templin staff I found this article unnerving and insensitive. I think it is important for all of the sstudents at the University of Kansas to realize the severity of suicide and the impact that death has on us as a member of the student body. There are many people here in the residence halls that are affected by suicide every day. I failed to find the humor in degrading Templin Hall, nor did I find reason for printing an article that makes fun of such a serious problem. Nick Spacek, I have 22 residents. Two have already attempted suicide, three are manic depressant, three of them have parents who are suffering from some sort of depression. Do you also find their circumstances funny? I have a news flash for you. They are survivors. they are not changing their living arrangements so that they can "slit their wrist the right way."
    Instead, they all work together to help each other get through the rough times. Therefore I take suicide very seriously. My job requires that I take suicide seriously and your joking and sarcastic tone was innapropriate. It was disrespectful to all of the people who have been affected by suicide, a slap in the face for those of us that work with the residents of Lewis and Templin Halls and insensitive to the people that attend the University.
        Shyra Darris
        Witchita sophomore

The comments from the UDK, February 24, 1998

Suicide column bad judgment by editor

    As a reader and staff member of the University Daily Kansan, I was both appalled and shocked at Nick Spacek's column that ran this past Thursday.
    Not only was the column in poor taste, but it also lacked any sort of redeeming literary value. As I read the article I kept waiting for Mr. Spacek to make a point. Unfortunately, that never happened.
    Maybe he that he was being funny. he wasn't.
    Maybe our editors think that suicide is a cute topic. It isn't.
    It is embarassing that the editors of the opinion pag would allow such a worthless and offensive article to be published. Many people, including myself, have either been directly or indirectly affected by suicide. Mr. Spacek made a complete mockery of a serious and tragic subject and in the process exposed the editors of the opinion page, Andy Obermueller and Paul eakins, as both unprofessional and untrustworthy.
    I find it hard to believe that either Obermueller or Eakins thought that Spacek's article was quality work. Instead, it looks as if Obermueller has once again taken his desperate need to solicit negative response one step too far.
    It is these types of poor decisions that give the Kansan such a poor repuation on campus. I only hope that Obermueller and Eakins' lack of taste and professionalism does not reflect negatively on the rest of the Kansan staff. We all work hard to produce one of the nation's best college newspapers.
        Harley V. Ratliff
      Associate Sports Editor

Lighten up: Suicide column was a joke

    All I've been hearing about is support for a KU fan whose rights were violated when his sign was taken away at a basketball game. Everyone thinks that the Athletic department was wrong. I agree.
    So why is it now that I'm seeing letters to the editor complaining about a column written by Nick Spacek on suicide? The University Daily Kansan printed that column because Nick Spacek has first amendment rights. I wouldn't be surprised if the people writing the complaints were the same people ready to protest for the freedom of speech of the KU fan.
    Spacek's article was about how hard it would be to kill yourself in a residence hall. He wasn't being serious. It was meant to be humorous. See, Kurt Cobain should have lived there because then he couldn't have killed himself. Get it?
    OK, so maybe Spacek won't be a writer for the Daily Show. And granted, sucide is a touchy subject. But he has the right to write his column, and the Kansan respected that. I commend the Kansan for supporting his rights and if you've spent the week complaining about the Athletic Department, you should too. So maybe the column offended you. That's OK. But don't tell him he shouldn't have written it and on't tell the kansan editors they shouldn't have printed it. If you are going to support First Amendment rights, you should support them for everyone. The column was supposed to be funny. Lighten up.
        Katie O'Hara
        Overland Park junior

editors' comments
the article itself