Editor-in-Chief: My First Request

My predecessor’s last message was to learn our history

My first message to you as the new Editor-in- Chief is to know people around you as we continue to make history.

By people I mean the greater campus populace. Know your friend. Know your neighbour. Know that student that sits in the corner of your class. Know that professor you think has something against you. Know the person that makes your food. Know the person that cleans your washroom. We are a small community so the process of knowing and understanding each other should not be burdensome.

A lot of issues arise simply because we don’t know each other. I understand the expectation of waiting on someone else to educate you on something that’s affecting them and their community, but I strongly feel that it would be more productive if each and every person is proactive in their quest to seek out education on areas where they lack knowledge on other parties.

There is so much I still need to learn and understand about my own community and others simply because the community is not a homogeneous group. It’s as diverse as the individuals who make up the group. I’m also still learning to understand myself and where I fit in this world, so I will make mistakes and that’s okay as long as I acknowledge those mistakes and work at correcting them. Will you do the same?

I see a lot of marginalised students on campus -this could be due to them choosing to alienate themselves or a result of systems put in place that make it hard to belong- not getting as many opportunities or support as other students. It can hurt when our stories aren’t given the attention they need and sometimes it can easily make one lose hope in Acadia.

I see a lot of students feel like they don’t belong here. They feel betrayed by a university that promotes community and diversity in word but sometimes there are glaring deficiencies when it comes to practice.  Personally, I don’t think this is on purpose but to the affected students, it sometimes feels that way. As such Acadia cannot deny those feelings people feel.

It’s easy to want to bathe in your past glory but I am a student of now and I want a future. Not just for myself but for students like me and students not like me. I see the Acadia history and I want to be part of that history. I want other students of colour to be part of the history we all should be proud of for many years to come. I want each and every student to feel and understand the powerful diverse community that persists here that is far deeper than skin tone. For the opportunity that is present, we will seize, for the opportunity that is not, we will make.

My time so far at Acadia has shown me that I do not need a title to make change. I simply need to want change and take steps to bringing its occurrence. I am grateful for the honor of being Editor-in-Chief and I will take pride in my duty of meaningfully contributing to the history of Acadia., recording its new history and making sure that our stories are heard

I want to ask: are you ready Acadia? As for me I’m ready and want to work with you. Hope you are on board.

Change means growth, and growth can be painful. But we sharpen self-definition by exposing the self in work and struggle together with those whom we define as different from ourselves, although sharing the same goals. For Black and white, old and young, lesbian and heterosexual people alike, this can mean new paths to our survival.” – Audre Lorde

 

Ruvimbo Chipazi is a fourth year BSc in Applied Psychology student and Editor-in-Chief of The Athenaeum

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