Editorial—On the Prevalance of Opinion

A couple of issues ago, we ran an article about the perils of medical marijuana. Not too long ago, I received a letter concerned about the one sidedness of the article, and was asked the question, “Is this a factual article or an opinion column?”  It’s an interesting question and it got me thinking about the nature of The Voice Magazine.  We are not, as many student publications are, a newspaper.  It’s a difficult task to begin with, as the nature of AU is such that the differences between who students are is vast.  We have a far broader audience than most student newspapers, even, one might imagine than most regular media.  There is no defining feature you can say applies to most AU students other than seeking an education.  And even the goal behind seeking that education varies far more widely among AU students than those of traditional universities.

Couple that with the lack of a traditional campus, and, honestly, what real “news” we get is, more often than not, just repurposed and collected news from various places across the web and the AU site, news that any of you already have access to.  We just bring it in (hopefully) an easier to find, more digestible format.

That’s why some of the pieces we bring, such as this week’s Porkpie Hat, or Wanda Waterman’s list of technology repudiating resolutions, aren’t necessarily bringing you more information or hard facts, but rather exist to set a mood or foster thought and discussion (speaking of which, have you tried discussing an article down in the comments section under each story on the website?  Not many have and I’m not sure why.  If you have any ideas, please let me know!)

So, is it an opinion column?  We try, and I try as editor, to ensure that what facts are presented are either backed up with reputable sources or are clearly expressed as the opinion of the writer, but is it a factual article or an opinion column?  A little bit of both, maybe.  And with that understanding comes the next point—there’s more than one opinion.  If you have one, if you disagree with anything you read in the Voice, by all means write a rebuttal.  Your voice as a student is just as valuable as every other voice here.  I would argue that your unwritten voice may be more valuable than what we already have published, because if you disagree, you represent another part of the incredibly diverse audience that is AU students, and they deserve to see themselves reflected in these pages as well.

But speaking of being reflected in these pages, our feature article is an interview with a student who’s also a teacher (not at AU) and is now pursuing a Master’s in School Counselling.  We also have the latest Council Connection—find   out who’s leaving Council and where they’re headed to next—and a philosophical look at the future of learning in the Fly on the Wall.  Have you thought what learning might mean in a society where brain-to-brain communication is possible?  Technology seems to be making strides in that direction, do we have the humanity to cope with it?   All this plus news, events, scholarships, advice, food and course reviews and more!

Enjoy the read!