This is your chance to be heard

If someone were to hand you a megaphone and tell you that with it you could reach nearly 25,000 people with whatever message was most important to you, you would take it, wouldn’t you?

We did, and we hope you will do the same.

You see, we are not writing for this section of the paper only because it will further our journalism careers, but also because we listened to those little voices in our heads that told us we could make a difference, if only by speaking our minds at Kent State.

Our job is to express our opinions on some of the most pressing news items, issues and events both within and outside our university. We will break down and take a closer look at their implications and possible solutions, as well as applaud that which we find commendable. This is not to convince everyone of our opinions, but to encourage an ongoing dialogue of what we, along with other student and national media, report to you.

If you disagree with our conclusions, we want to hear about it. This semester, we intend to broaden the range of opinions expressed on this page by reaching out to groups of students we don’t often hear from. We want this page to represent the many facets of Kent State life because we believe that part of the beauty of being a student here is the diversity of opinions, experiences and backgrounds one can encounter.

We are not exaggerating or condescending when we say we want to hear from you — this page is not complete if we only represent the interests and opinions of journalism students. While we strive to stay informed and aware of ideas that differ from ours, only you know what’s in your head. We cannot fully represent your opinions unless you tell us what they are.

We also invite leaders of student organizations to write to us when there are news items or issues that affect the communities their groups represent or that they want to speak out about. We know there are groups on campus that get lost in the daily scramble for news, and we want to remedy that. Consider this your place to finally be heard.

There will be a few changes to the Forum page this semester. In the spirit of convergence, a member of the Black Squirrel Radio staff has joined the editorial board for the first time. This is part of our effort to bring in fresh opinions and to hear from voices otherwise unaffiliated with the Daily Kent Stater.

With the launch of our new Web site, we will be dabbling in bringing more multimedia aspects to the Forum page than in past semesters. Along with columns and cartoons, we will run some blogs and podcasts to provide insight into the journalistic process behind this page and to take a more three-dimensional approach to the opinions we express.

We hope these changes will help us better represent the wide range of attitudes found at a university of this size.

So please, ignore the voice that tells you that you cannot possibly make a difference, that you are not important or informed enough — that no one wants to hear what you have to say. We want to hear from you, we are begging to hear from you and we are handing you a megaphone to reach the entire Kent State community. What do you have to lose?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.