I know what’s on your mind. You’re probably asking yourself; why has it taken The Journal nearly half a semester to put forth a publication? Well my dear friend, to be honest it’s a long story that includes a lot of moving pieces. As the Editor-in-Chief, The Journal has been an especially challenging learning curve. It’s been quite a challenge having to publish articles, without having all the moving pieces set in place.
Normally, a team is set in place before the start of the new school year, but for some reason this past summer there were no hires for all the vacant Journal staff positions (which include every position on The Journal), despite the fact that there was evident interest to fill these positions.
After last year’s elections, it fell on The Journal Board and SMUSA to appoint and initiate interviews for the vacant positions within The Journal. And this year, it fell under the jurisdiction of Dénis Amirault, the VP of Communications. Due to various other priorities, The Journal was cast aside and it wasn’t until October of 2017, that there was any indication of hiring for The Journal.
It seems as though SMUSA and the Journal Board did not prioritize in making sure The Journal be adequately prepared before the start of the new school year. That being said, the VP of Communications, who also happens to dawn on the position of Chair on The Journal Board had these words to say, “we were faced with a situation where we realized during the spring that none of our operations staff were returning in the fall, and there was very limited interest in the Journal at the time. Fortunately, we’re now in a position where we’ve garnered enough interest from our operations team, contributors and even prospective readers to produce a series of quality papers throughout the semester”.
Being a levied society, I think it is incredibly crucial that The Journal Board and SMUSA prioritize the upkeep of The Journal on a year to year basis. Without fully supporting an on-campus student publication, how will students be able to vocalize their thoughts on activities taking place on campus? Without a media outlet, where do students channel their concerns?
Honestly, there is no concrete basis to put blame on any one individual or organization, it’s just a matter of accountability on every member directly involved with the paper, including myself. This means that Board members, the Director/Chair, and Operational staff, all work hand in hand to holistically put together this puzzle. I am a firm believer in student media and its conservation, and I believe that we definitely have a stellar year ahead of us.
It is especially important that there be an emphasis on how The Journal is handled by SMUSA in the following school year and with elections coming up, I think it’s ever more important that students hold any form of administration directly involved with The Journal accountable.
On that note, if you’re interested in contributing and sharing your thoughts with students, via The Journal, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zahra Dhubow, Editor-in-Chief