In light of our final issue for 2017, the Defender staff discussed stories that dominated the media this fall, and touched our own publication throughout the semester. The Taking A Knee movement (see page 2), hurricane Maria, fears of a changing environment, sexual assault (see page 9), changes in the collegiate landscape, and the list goes on.
Reflecting on our work for the semester we realized that while we may exist in a community small enough to be put under a glass dome (see page 24), everything that goes on in the world beyond also happens right here. While at times it may feel like the headlines on major newsstands are distant musings, what’s prevalent on the national scale usually trickles down to the local.
The size of our community allows individual actions to make a true impact. These individual actions can be as miniscule as picking up The Defender on your way into Alliot and learning about exactly what makes up the smoke of a JUUL, so that you can better inform yourself and your friends. Actions can also occur on a larger scale, for example, joining a group like Hope Happens Here or Active Minds to help advocate for students with mental illness (see page 18).
In a community where our own president deems civil discourse a surprising challenge (see page 12), speaking up for issues important to you can be scary. Yet we exist in a place specifically designed to create civil discourse. Each class discussion poses the opportunity to share beliefs about issues that matter. Sure, you may be challenged by classmates, but it’s critical that we share perspectives. To move forward, it is essential to collect all of the facts, and hear out the opposite sides of the spectrum.
Before we go our separate ways for winter break we want to thank you. If you’re reading this you either picked up our publication in print or sought it out online, and in doing so you have taken interest in what’s happening in our tiny community. While it can be hard to find ways to do something about national issues that you care about, if the entire nation starts small by making a positive impact in their own community, we would create powerful change.
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