Editorial Pages

On This New Year I Resolve…

Yeah, right. Like there is any point to making resolutions. Let’s face it, if you were motivated enough to do it, you would have done it by now. Swearing out a hasty resolution at five minutes to midnight, on the last day of the year, whacked out of your brain on the tryptophan of a week’s worth of leftover turkey, not to mention a few too many good cheer cocktails while watching Ashlee Simpson feign a vocal salute to the new year, is not a likely to be conducive to drastic and lasting life changes.

Still, the end-of-the-year tradition of resolution making is beneficial in that, much like the annual birthday tradition of bemoaning how little we’ve accomplished in the last year, is one of the few ways in which we remind ourselves to stop looking wistfully toward the future and regretfully toward the past and focus for a moment on our lives in the here and now. Put it that way, and the annual New Year’s booze and nosh fest is damn near a zen ritual!

Okay, maybe not. But we all know resolutions are doomed to fail. In fact, I bet that no decision is less likely to be successfully carried out than those made on New Year’s eve. Even the terminology is against us: resolution. What does that mean anyway? “To resolve” suggests many meanings relevant to the New Year’s tradition. It means, of course, to decide, but also to transform or to bring to a conclusion. So just as aloha means both hello and goodbye, to resolve means both to decide to bring about change, and to conclude that change, all at the same time. Hmm… Maybe it’s all over so fast, we simply miss it.

I prefer to think of the new year holiday as a good time to make some changes, to clean house (literally and figuratively), and to try something new. It really has nothing to do with the year end, so much as that I have some time off from work and can get ahead on some work. Wait, that doesn’t make sense either… Okay, yes, I spent much of my vacation doing work that I never have time for when I’m actually at work (incidentally, look for the updated look for the AUSU website, online shortly).

I did, however, manage to clear off my desk enough that I can now open a course book upon it, which is really the first step to getting caught up on my studies and finishing a course with more than two hours left before my contract date. And, you may notice some changes to The Voice over the next few weeks, beginning with some changes to the pdf layout (mainly the table of contents), and I hope to have a new website front page shortly as well.

Also, keep an eye out for the winner’s list for our 2nd Annual Voice Writing Contest. As soon as I’ve heard back from all of the winners, I will release the list and begin running the winning entries. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the work, and intrigued by some of the topics.

In the coming year you’ll be hearing a lot about another project that is underway – the separation of The Voice from the AU Students’ Union. The relationship between AUSU and The Voice has been wonderful, but there comes a time for most university publications when greater independence is needed, and for AU students, the need for a fully autonomous student publication is clear. It’s not like you can talk to each other in the halls and hold rallies to air your concerns. This paper truly is your Voice, and the more student input we can include, the better. The separation plans will be a lengthy project, and you’ll be updated as we progress. The first step will be a new domain name for The Voice – a small step that will make little difference to readers, but which is symbolic of the growing independence of the paper. It will also make it easier to track web traffic to The Voice website, and allow for better demographic reports.

Demographics will also be assessed through another Voice Annual Reader Survey, due to be online in the next several weeks. As always, your input will be invaluable and will determine the direction of the publication in the coming year. Take note of what you do and don’t like over the coming weeks, and include your comments on the survey form when it is posted (right now, however, you can rate the current AUSU website through their Web Satisfaction survey, here: http://www.ausu.org/websurvey2004/)

2005 marks the 13th year of Voice publication, and I want it to be our best yet! Keep writing letters, submitting articles, and reading each and every issue. The Voice, ideally, should be a mirror image of the AU student body, and as your input increases, that image becomes easier to discern. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep letting us know what you would like to read.

As for resolutions, well… maybe we should all adopt the second meaning. Rather than deciding to do something, just do it! Welcome to 2005.

Tamra Ross Low
Editor in Chief