Dear readers of The Emory Wheel,

My name is Brandon Wagner. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve worked in the Arts and Entertainment section for some time, bringing you an inordinate amount of film reviews, TV talks and general discussion on the world of narrative media. While that won’t be stopping, I’ve taken on the role of interim Opinions editor (Interim because I’ll be leaving this fine establishment for the real world in May).

I don’t pretend that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. In fact, that’s part of the reason I’m here. Even before I was gifted this opportunity, I heard a lot of what you had to say about this section, and I heard it loud and clear.

A section that should be a voice of which the Emory community is proud ended up courting controversy without knowledge or grace. A section that should challenge ideas became a shouting match over the same five or six issues. Most of all, I know many students feel that this section has not reinforced the skill or quality of writing that exists within the Emory community. Few things are more important to me than good writing from strong voices, and if this section does not reflect that, then we have not done our job.

To that end, I first promise change on our part. My team and I will be editing with the highest standard, crafting and cultivating what our writers give to us into a work that is identifiably theirs and that they absolutely can be proud of. We will work to improve the writers who come in and write for us, and we hope that you all will see the results. We will be seeking out unique and interesting writers to bring perspectives to this section that have not been previously presented. We will make sure that individuals are speaking for themselves, not on behalf of interests beyond them.

We will make sure this section truly reflects what Emory students have to say about what affects Emory, including with reference to issues of student governance and administrative disagreement, issues in the broader city of Atlanta and issues we deal with on a daily basis at the Emory . National and international issues alike will remain, but within the context of the unique abilities and ideas of Emory students.

In short, we will run this section better. We will make the Opinions section something that we can defend without question even on its most controversial days and that we will never need to defend on its best days.

But that’s going to require your help, too. We can only put on this page what you contribute. If you’ve never contributed before, never felt comfortable contributing or never thought that you could, you’re the kind of voice that we’re looking for.

Is there something that’s always bugged you? Is there something you’ve been yelling about for years but without a platform from which you could be heard? Do you read The New Yorker or The Atlantic and fantasize about writing for them?  You’re the kind of person that we’re looking for.

We’re here to help and make Emory’s discussion better, but it all starts with you. Speak up, speak out. It’s the best way to make a change, and my request of you. Help us make a change for the good of us all.

Help us create a place for the voice of Emory.