Get in bed with Eds

My name is Elias Da Silva-Powell and I’m the Editorials editor of the Journal for this year.

Almost immediately after starting at the Journal, I realized that many people don’t understand how editorials are generated. As the year begins, I want to address the most common misconceptions in order to spare our regular readers unnecessary confusion.

Misconception #1: The editorials are written anonymously by members of the Queen’s community.

I’m responsible for writing the unsigned editorials on the left-hand side of this page. The content and direction of the editorials is determined by the editorial board. I also edit the signed editorial columns that occupy this space, and lay out the page itself, as well as the masthead below.

Misconception #2: The Editorials editor can use this page as a soapbox to express his or her opinion.

Before every issue of the Journal is printed, I bring in stories for the Journal’s editorial board to discuss. Frequently, other members of the board suggest alternative topics. The topics we address are chosen by a straight vote, with each board member voting twice.

Misconception #3: The stance taken in the editorials page is the opinion of every Journal staff member.

While the editorials page is intended to act as the “voice” of the Journal, it’s difficult to combine the feedback offered by every member of the editorial board into one statement. Sometimes the editorial board has to take one stance on an issue—like endorsing a political candidate.

In these cases, the stance is determined by a majority vote, of (50 per cent + 1 vote) of the individuals who attended that editorial board. Attendance is mandatory, but must consist of at least 1/3 of the total number of members. Debate is usually strong and a unanimous opinion quite rare. For the sake of encouraging open discussion, what is said at editorial board remains private.

In other words: if the Journal runs an editorial taking a stance you don’t especially like, don’t conclude that this was the opinion of any one individual. I have often heard people insisting that an individual from the Journal adheres to an opinion based on the Journal in the paper; this is incorrect.

I do my best to represent the Journal’s stance as accurately and concisely as possible. However, I am not a specialist on every topic we discuss, nor is 400 words a lot of space to communicate an opinion. I’m completely willing to accept responsibility for the content in this section of the paper. I am however unwilling to state that the opinions expressed on this page are the opinions of any one individual at the Journal, including myself.

I encourage you to respond to the editorials online, as they are intended to encourage discussion and debate. Further information about Journal policy is available on our website.

Just don’t gear up for an argument when you see me around campus, ok?

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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