Opinions needs to have a purpose this year. Last year, the opinions section had the promise of generating debate between peers. Unfortunately, we failed to do that; most op-eds existed as one-off pieces with no debate or follow-up. This year, I would like to reach out to people who might feel moved by a piece to write their own opinion building on or countering it. Last year I complained that Kenyon’s use of online components in its classes is turning us from a liberal arts school that genuinely cares about individual students into numbers on a screen. Apparently I struck a nerve because a professor who was on sabbatical at the time wrote in the following week to say I was misguided. At first I was scared that I had provoked a professor, but then I realized that this was what I had meant to do. Opinions writers should write controversial things, and we, as editors, should follow up on these pieces, finding someone to adopt an alternative perspective to generate wider discussion. Opinions should light a fire under people. When people read the Collegian’s opinions section they should either cheer or boo instead of thinking, well, who really cares?
While it might be easier to fire off a tweet or share a Facebook post discussing your Kenyon-related opinions, when you submit an article to the Collegian opinions section, you share your perspective with a wider audience than merely the people in your inner circle. These individuals range from Gambier residents to post office workers to members of the board of trustees to faculty members and fellow students. I hope this space will be a forum to refute opposition, crack a joke and, most importantly, put forth a well-constructed argument on subjects about which you feel passionate. I hope dialogue on campus will manifest itself here in a way that changes our campus for the better and helps us all understand each other and our diverse thoughts. I fundamentally believe each and every person in our community has a unique perspective that’s worth sharing. Conditions and attitudes on the Hill are changing: our campus population is increasing, the 20/20 Plan hovers, and major changes in the student handbook affect nearly every member of our community. This is one of the places to proffer dissent or appreciation about campus events and decisions and actually have people hear you, instead of muttering something to a friend as you’re walking to dinner.
[starbox id=”Griffin Burrough,Gabi Healy”]