Columns / Discourse / Featured / April 26, 2017

Ask an editor: Reflecting on a year of columns and editorials

I have had the absolute pleasure of working as TKS’s Discourse Editor for the past year. Not only was I able to work with an amazing staff but I read countless pieces that not only helped change the discourse on our campus, but changed my perspective on different fronts.

As the year is coming to a close, I would like to look back at some columns and editorials that altered my perception, made me think and helped me appreciate every voice on this campus.

  1. An altered mind: Tales from hypnosis by Shresha Karmacharya

Speaking of altering my perception, Karmacharya perfectly explained her experience with a hypnotist during Orientation Week. She explained the absurdity and the strange sensation of being hypnotized. “Watching your body comply to things you wouldn’t normally do whilst still having full control over it is something that is incredibly complex to explain and incredible great to experience.”

  1. Thoughts from the embers: Institute campus-wide content warning policy

One of our first editorials for this year, I think it still stands. Our editorial board took a hard stance on the fact that we believe Knox needs a campus-wide policy that instructs students on what they must do if they are in need of a content warning during their academic career. There is still no policy in place but TKS gave several concrete ideas as to how students can discretely ask for content warnings.

  1. Thoughts from the embers: Hold media accountable for the right reasons

In the midst of the election, our editorial board reached out to the campus to hold the media responsible for tension between the media and the public. This editorial also pledged to continue being a media source worthy of publication. “We are here to cover the news Ñ good, bad and everything in between. Until the actions of our country change, the media won’t. Help us maintain our presence as a media source on campus and contribute to our cause.”

  1. Editor’s Note: Standing Rock by Julia Mondschean

Speaking as someone who went to Standing Rock along with Mondschean, watching her as she dutifully captured the events surrounding us, I can say that this column was an interesting and reminiscent look at what was going on at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Not only that, but it goes into detail about what it meant for Mondschean to be a member of the media during such an emotional event.

  1. One Mind: Pride by Tony Rodge-Hinderliter

Rodge-Hinderliter is a recurrent columnist, always writing beautifully thought-provoking columns on mental illness. In this specific column, the topic is pride. Rodge-Hinderliter goes into detail about his struggles with Asperger’s, but ensures readers that he wouldn’t change it if he could. “I refuse to be ashamed of having Asperger’s. As I said in a previous column, I prefer to think of it as an advantage more than a disadvantage.”

  1. Women’s March focused on compassion by Erika Riley

This piece was our fearless co-news editor’s first appearance in the Discourse section and what struck me was the way Riley described the mass amount of people who came to the march. Riley does not downplay the difficulties of the experience but allows the reader to experience her fears and finally, her feeling of accomplishment along with her. “The entire experience was insanely positive, and although I returned to the bus exhausted, I also felt full.”

  1. Working toward a better cafeteria by Monica Wichmann

I ran into Monica in the caf while she was working during dinner. She and another caf worker seemed to be exhausted and were having a conversation about the quality of the cafeteria. I asked her to write a column about her experience working in the caf and I’m so glad she did. This column is a very honest reflection of what working in the cafeteria is like and it details how cafeteria workers respond to negative criticism from students. “Yelling vague complaints [at Bon AppŽtit] won’t get us anywhere, as we have already seen. We need to be more helpful in what we say to Bon AppŽtit.”

  1. I am sorry, Knox by Sofia Tagkaloglou

In this award winning column (first place at the Illinois College Press Association) Tagkaloglou apologizes on behalf of those shouting derogatory terms toward conservative students. This apology was heartfelt and much needed in the difficult time that came after the election. “I’m sorry, Knox College. I’m sorry, Galesburg. I’m sorry, United States. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know I let you down today. While I kept silent when I didn’t agree with the words being shouted, I was complacent in an effort that isolated those who I must embrace most.”

It has been a powerful year of columns, editorials, opinions, apologies, satire and more. As my time as Discourse Editor comes to a close, I dare you to finish the year with me! Write down your opinions, read others’ thoughts and ideas and find yourself thinking new thoughts. If you have something you would like to submit to Discourse please email me at lgchamberlin@knox.edu.

Lillie Chamberlin
Lillie is a sophomore at Knox, majoring in creative writing with an emphasis on comedy and minoring in gender and women's studies and theatre performance. She is the president of Knox's Best Buddies chapter, and during her summers she is a camp counselor at an all-girls summer camp where she teaches classes including (but not limited to): canoeing, Beyonce Appreciation, Comedy, Journalism and "Wacky Sports". She began submitting discourse pieces her freshman year and now loves sharing other peoples' work through the section-- she encourages everyone to write for discourse!

Tags:  column discourse reflection

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