January 20, 2006

Pressing concerns

When editors from The Nation came to campus this week, they contended that a democracy depends on diversity of opinions and that the media must provide various outlets for those opinions. Editors from our many student publications were in the audience when they said this.

In the past year, publications ranging from Diskord, a progressive periodical, to Vita, an erotica magazine, have made names for themselves on campus. And they don’t simply exist; they are a part of campus life. To go to a party and discuss a campus publication is not—to understate it—unheard of.

On a campus that prides itself on open academic discourse, the proliferation of opinions through publications should be praised. It should also be supported. At the U of C, student publications should be a top priority for funding. Without sufficient support, we are left with one issue of many dead publications and students too discouraged to create new ones. Obviously, the students of the new periodical should make sure the publication outlasts the tenure of its founder, but the University can also help rather than hinder the process and ensure vibrant, long-lived publications.

Campus magazines and newspapers allow our voices to be heard both within our community and outside of it. Additionally, they allow us to connect to stories around the world that we may not always have time to keep up with. Having different viewpoints offers a much greater diversity of stories and broader view of what is happening around us. If we as a university are to truly have academic discourse, we must support those venues that allow our voices to be heard.