Editorial—Give us a Break!

Summertime and Canada Day is upon us!  With that in mind, next week, The Voice Magazine will take a brief hiatus.  I need to be rested and prepared for what’s going to happen the week after that—when our biannual reader survey comes out and AUSU pushes the Voice Magazine in their newsletter.  Such pushes are traditionally accompanied by a significant increase in the number of students who are interested in writing for the magazine, and that’s great.  We need new writers to make sure that we’re staying as current as you are.

Plus, this is also a good time because, as noted last issue, summer is a bit of a lull. Fewer students reading, fewer students writing, fewer administrations or politicians doing things involving education. Come September that all changes, but right now?  The call of the sun is strong.

But that doesn’t mean this week is any less.  We start it off with our feature interview, this time with AUSU Councillor Joshua Ryan. We interviewed Josh before, way back in October of 2016, so this time, we tried to keep it light and quick, and concentrate a little more on his recent experience and goals for joining AUSU Council.

Plus, Barb Lethiniemi returns with her look at how convocation ceremonies went, both the good and the bad.  Personally, I find articles that point out the downsides of things that everybody else does nothing but cheer about extremely valuable.  Some suggest that’s because I’m a pessimist, but I firmly feel that nothing is perfect, and it’s only by acknowledging weakness that we ever get any stronger.  Being proven wrong is one of the most valuable experiences you can ever have, because when you know you were wrong, that means you’ve learned something.  It means you won’t be wrong that way again.  But that’s a difficult attitude to maintain in the current political climate.

It seems today that acknowledging error or ignorance in one area is immediately generalized to everything else.  And so we dig our heels in.  We fight against any admission of mistake because we worry that invalidates everything about us.  And this is goaded by insular internet communities, purposeful trolls who like to aggravate people “for the lulz” (I will never understand the desire to cause someone pain just because you can.  It’s not like you can even think of it as some sort of triumph given how easy it is, so it baffles me), internet parasites who make their living purely through the number of hits and views they receive with no consideration for truth or consequences, and these days, even the possibility of state actors.  With all these forces aligned for the sole purpose of driving extreme reaction, it’s little wonder this division is happening.

But it needs to stop.  And we need to be the ones to do it.  So the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, either over the internet or in real life, and they say something obviously wrong, give them a break and don’t just correct them.  Point out something they got right as well.  We need to disconnect the idea that a single error is the judge of the whole.  Maybe if we do that, we can all stop digging our heels in so much and acknowledge more of our mistakes.

And once we do that, maybe we can even move on to fixing them.

The next full issue will be out on Friday, July 13th, 2018, so until then, enjoy the read!