Justice — it’s a loaded word, and there is flexibility in how one chooses to define it. It could be a call to action in a fight for equality, an excuse for revenge or grounds for reward or punishment. Its complexity makes it an interesting word to explore further. We can ask ourselves, how does the idea of justice play out at the university? How does each individual, each group, each community choose to define it? And how does this definition change? Exploring these questions is the purpose of this issue.
The semesterly special issue is a tradition that began in the fall of 2018 with the Drunk Issue and continued in 2019 with the Women’s Issue and the Green Issue. During the pandemic, we delved into topics such as the 2020 Election, money and COVID-19 itself.
Throughout the past few months back on campus, we have seen calls for justice for victims of sexual assault, for the environment, for people of color and for LGBTQ individuals. What bound all of these topics together was the theme of justice, and so we decided that we would be remiss to discuss anything else for this semester’s special issue.
Within this issue, you will find investigations into the questionable politics of the university’s Faculty Senate, the status of LGBTQ students on campus, conversations on racial justice, an analysis of food injustice and discussions about gender equality.
While examining the concept of justice, we have also had the opportunity to look more critically at ourselves. As a primarily white staff of university students, our privilege is quite clear. Many of us can examine social and environmental justice issues without having to feel the constant effects of inequality. We can look into justice as we want, but at the end of the day, many of us are able to place down our notepads and return to a comfortable distance from these issues.
Frankly, we have a long way to go to reach a state of true comprehension of what justice is and how it shows itself in our community. What we hope our readers understand is that we are doing our best to raise awareness, ask the uncomfortable questions and fairly represent the voices of our readership.
Journalism and justice strongly coincide with each other and the stories that we cover have the potential to draw attention to issues and bring about the administration of justice. As student journalists, we commit ourselves to the truth and in that, to the voices of those beyond the walls of our office. To those of you who are fighting for justice, know that we are listening.
This is not to say that what we cover in these 16 pages is everything the word “justice” has to offer, but we hope that it can be the starting point for awareness and further discussion.
We aim for our articles to help you think more deeply about what justice means to you, how it develops at the university and in our community and how we can all bring about change in our world.
Kelsey & Simon