April 28, 2022
Over the course of this semester, we achieved many of the goals we had been working towards for the Opinion section of the Old Gold & Black.
While the news section diligently covered the numerous notable and chaotic events occurring in Wake Forest’s periphery, we at the Opinion section made it our job to communicate the perspectives of Wake Forest students, ensuring that their voices and concerns could be heard. When we took issue with the actions of the administration and the campus climate, we expressed that, whether it was through articles on the Weaver Fertilizer Fire, our ‘No Humanitate’ article, staffer Aaron Nataline’s article on the planned construction of a road through Davis Field and Conor Metzger’s article on YikYak culture on campus or criticisms of university response to shooting threats. We also gave our staffers the opportunity to engage in conversation with each other through our newly created “Deacs Debate” column, where students debated everything from the benefits of nuclear power to the existence of God. While we reserved space for creative freedom in the Opinion section, we also made sure to cover important political and social matters through our other columns, “The F-Word” and “Oval Offense”, which spotlit relevant feminist and political issues respectively.
Our articles covering ongoing events won three “Best of Student News (SNO)” recognitions over the semester, including an article from staff writer Natasha Heisenberg on the suicide of Wake Forest Law alum and public figure Cheslie Kryst. One of our priorities this semester has been stimulating conversation and awareness around issues such as mental health that are often stigmatized.
We gave our writers the opportunity to talk about relevant issues in pop culture, especially ones that took social media by storm. These articles included content about the Will Smith vs. Chris Rock Oscars fiasco by staff writers Conor Metzger and Robert Yount, and an analysis of the previous YouTube Rewinds by Life editor Adam Coil.
To finish the semester off, we dedicated an issue to women in public forums and the struggles they have faced. This edition called attention to a number of prominent women relevant in politics, including Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, journalist Assia Djebar and others.
However, the expression of opinions through a public avenue such as journalism can come with criticism, a possibility that any opinion writer should be prepared for. An article by Opinion Editor Sophie Guymon on a controversial incident that occurred at the Wake Forest Medical School was picked up by The Daily Mail and Fox News, generating negativity towards both the Opinion section and the Old Gold & Black as a whole.
One thing we have learned through our time as Opinion editors is that criticism should not serve as a deterrent to making one’s voice heard — if anything, it should encourage it. Expressing an opinion that others may not agree with is an admirable thing, and no one person can take that away from you.