Nearly a month ago, on September 25, Chimes published an article I wrote on the topic of indie music. Two sophomores were frustrated at the sheer amount of indie music at Calvin. I interviewed them, and then wrote a quick article on the subject. It was my first article to get Facebook comments — only one of two, to date — and I received a rather lengthy letter to the editor in response. I got stopped in the hallway by multiple people, two of whom were John Williamson and Ken Heffner themselves, and was informed that SAO was taking my article very seriously, as well.
To be quite honest, it was mind-boggling. By that time, I had already written an article on sexism, as well as one (albeit positive) article on cultural appropriation. Yet this was the article that I received attention for? It was rather surprising! The current Editor-in-Chief, Anna Delph, can easily tell the tale of when she wrote an article about Disney World and got a wave of complaints and letters — even though there were two articles on abortion also running that week! It’s extremely difficult to predict what receives attention and what doesn’t at Calvin.
Two weeks ago, I published an article on UnLearn week. Delph was concerned that it would be controversial, but all I ever heard about that article was one well-written letter to the editor. No one stopped me in the hall to discuss it, it has no Facebook comments and it doesn’t seem like many people paid attention to it. Funnily enough, given that I explicitly told her that if it was controversial, “Well, I’ll have plenty of letters to the editor for next week!” Always good to get more articles— otherwise, I end up writing them all myself.
But if I can’t figure out what will make students buzz with talk enough to send in a letter, how am I supposed to drum them up? After all, this isn’t the ‘Kelsey Powers Opinion Section.’ I shouldn’t be just writing up everything I want to talk about and broadcasting it to the general public. The student body is made up of a whole lot of people, and they all buzz for different things — although a lot of students buzzed about the budget cuts, admittedly.
Things that affect all of Calvin make people talk, it seems.. Changes in the music at Calvin. Program budget cuts. Comments on UnLearn Week. But what about the small things? Will English majors write in if I criticize how the English majors are working? Will engineers write furiously about the cutting of a class they all like?
It’s a process of trial and error, really. What makes Calvin tick, in whole and in parts? What works one month may not work another month — we’re not a monolith. We all are passionate about different things. The people that stopped me to chat about the indie music may not have cared about the Disney World article if it ran in the current paper. So, then, tell me. What do you care about?