By Opinion Editor Abigail Hadfield, Deputy Opinion Editor Hannah Ebanks, and Assistant Opinion Editor Brittany Adames
Emerson students love using social media to voice their complaints and opinions on campus issues, such as tuition increase, new building purchases, or the Dining Center food. But for all the Facebook statuses and tweets students post, we get very few submissions to the opinion section of the Beacon.
In opinion, we spent this semester trying to bring our audience valuable pieces that connect to and address our everyday campus life to produce localized pieces relevant to the Emerson community. Some of our personal favorites include Ziqi Wang’s reflections on staying in touch with parents, Matt Mogavero’s call to bring gun reform to the local level, Lucie Pereira’s demand for cultural competency education, and Kayla LaRosa’s appeal to make classroom discussions as inclusive as protests.
Next year, we’re asking you to take the step up from reading to active participation—the more voices we can publish, the better. We hope to see the section grow into a place to discuss issues that impact the Emerson community in a thoughtful way. We especially want to offer arguments that make people think about potential solutions, so that our section becomes a place where innovative ideas and proposals emerge.
Our website never placed a limit on how many articles we can publish, but that fact didn’t dawn on us until this past semester. In our transition to daily online publishing, we’re putting out more opinion articles than we used to. What does this mean for you? It means more opportunities to express your thoughts. And the online format allows additional space to expand on your ideas. This transition was challenging at times, but we’re proud of all the pieces that we published this semester.
Writing opinion pieces solidifies a sense of critical thought and how to incorporate it into your argument. We want students to actively engage with one another to cultivate a stronger community for the campus. You, as students, are key in demanding change or shedding light on a particular issue. By writing an article, you provide a new perspective. We know opinion pieces can kickstart change on this campus—look at this past semester’s article on the lack allergen-free options in the Dining Center that led to more gluten-free accommodations, such as a gluten-free toaster. The power to make change starts with you.
Lastly, we encourage you to blow up our comments section—you might not have the time to write a full letter to the editor, but you can leave a comment with your thoughts on any of our stories to further the discussion. We’d love for the articles we publish to serve as the start of campus-wide conversations.