Opinions, anyone?

My involvement with the Journal over the past three years has taught me a lot.

For starters, no matter how hard you try to write the perfect article, there is always bound to be someone who’s got a problem with it.

Second, even though some students dismiss this paper as elitist hogwash, I see more people on campus reading it than any other Queen’s publication.

That might have to do with the fact that we come out twice a week, but—given that it’s the New Year—I’m taking an optimistic view on things.

Third, I’ve noticed the Journal discussion board is usually full of passionate dialogue and yes, sometimes I even hear that dialogue trickle around campus.

So what I’m wondering is—why, as the Opinions and Letters Editor, do I rarely receive letters or opinion pieces in my inbox?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a fair number this year and I’m grateful for those who are passionate enough to send me a “Dear Editor” letter or show me an opinion piece they want to publish. Maybe it’s because last year’s Opinions and Letters Editor told me I’d be beating people away with a stick whereas this year, it’s more like pulling teeth.

My job is fairly simple. I collect letters, I edit opinion pieces and I put together my section. But I’m disappointed with the lack of voices.

Even though it’s part of my job to seek out individuals to write about specific issues, it bothers me more people aren’t asking for the chance to have their opinions heard.

Some have, but more should.

When I took this job I had no hidden agenda, no grand modus operandi.

I came in with the idea that my section would be a place for everyone to voice their opinions—from the quietest person to the loudest.

It’s in my nature to do a lot of preaching. Hell, I joined the Journal so I could do just that.

As this is the last editorial I’ll write for this paper, I want to end this piece by giving some advice to our readers.

If you care enough about something written in this paper to the point where you will talk about it with other people, make anonymous comments on our website or mention it to your co-workers or parents back home—please write in and let us know. All you need is 350 words, your full name and some sort of title.

If you’re feeling more verbose, try writing 700 to 900 words and make it an opinion piece. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, as long as you care enough to send it. Just make sure it’s clear, organized and well argued.

Although I only have room for one piece per issue, it never hurts to have more to choose from.

Send away.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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