New year, new opinions
How the opinion section can work for you
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 14:08
It feels great to be back at school again after an altogether too brief summer of working and traveling. Hearing the school song play on the bells this morning put a smile on my face as I strode through campus. With the beautiful weather we have had lately, I can’t help but think that this semester is already off to a wonderful start.
I am excited to be working this year as The Spectrum’s newest opinion editor. With the upcoming Presidential election, along with a number of hotly contested congressional elections around the region, this semester promises to be an exciting one for the opinion section.
Because of the pivotal timing of our writing this year, and especially this semester, I hope that the opinion section can do great service to political discussions all across campus. I believe that no matter how dysfunctional one may perceive our government to be, it is important for each and every citizen to be, to some degree, politically active.
The opinion section, then can serve as a catalyst for political thought, discussion, and activism for our student body. By operating as an open forum for any and all student opinions, this section has the potential to fill a vital role in connecting students of similar and contrasting thought that may not otherwise have had the opportunity to share their ideas.
Even as the opinion section attempts to be a positive tool for the students of NDSU, it walks upon thin ice. Opinions, especially political opinions, are nearly always touchy and can spark as many fights as they do intelligent discussions. As intellectuals, we must be vigilant in our writing so as not to allow our opinions to degenerate into deprived, vindictive journalism.
I have found, through much research and many discussions, that if a person has his or her mind set on a certain opinion, the odds of convincing that person to completely change their tact and adopt your ideas instead are very, very slim. What then, you may ask, is the point of even writing for the opinion section?
Though I have not managed to convince too many people to change their ideas, I have found that intelligent discussion is vital to expanding one’s own view of the world, as well as one’s own ideas and opinions. Opening your mind to the possibility of others’ ideas and giving respect to their opinions can actually help your own ideas and opinions evolve. And, if you are lucky, you may even be able to help others shape and mold their own ideas and opinions.
With that in mind, I would send a message today to the entire student body. Know that the opinion section is a tool at your disposal. It is here not for only a few lucky writers to force their ideas on the population at their will. Any person of any age, major or political orientation who is motivated to open their mind and the minds of others to new ideas is welcome to submit articles to the opinion section (and we will even pay you to do it).
Finally, I want to wish you all an exciting and successful semester. To our new Bison, welcome! And to the old Herd, welcome back!