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For the past two years, I’ve been asking friends, professors, and even total strangers the perennial question: Do you want to write an op-ed?

My four semesters behind the scenes of the opinion pages of Spectator have shown me how difficult it is to write down your thoughts and release them for others to comment on and criticize. However, they’ve also shown me just how vital it is to defend what you stand for.

The people who are willing to speak out are the ones who have started and guided some of the most pressing conversations of our time, both on campus and beyond, even if these conversations take years to finally be heard. We shouldn’t be afraid to hold each other or the administration accountable. We shouldn’t forget the importance of standing with our peers, or even taking a stand against their actions when we deem it necessary. Lastly, we shouldn’t overlook the significance of having these open and honest conversations with each other.

Columnists and Discourse & Debate writers have the opportunity to start these kinds of conversations throughout the semester. Columnists have the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions in a few hundred words once every other week, adding their own personal touches to give readers a sense of who they are and why these conversations matter. In contrast, Discourse & Debate writers are able to speak and respond to others they may not agree with for the sake of engaging in direct discourse.

Not every conversation needs to expose the next big social issue of our time, but any conversation has the potential to connect people through similar lived experiences—I know I felt these connections firsthand.

Just remember, these conversations can’t begin without you; we’d love to help you along the way.

So now I ask again: Do you want to write a column or for Discourse & Debate?

The columnist application can be found here.

The Discourse & Debate application can be found here.

Applications are due by Friday, January 19 at 5:00 p.m. EST. If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, feel free to email opinion@columbiaspectator.com.

All the best,

Octavio Galaviz

Editorial Page Editor

Columns Discourse & Debate Application
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