Opinions section overview

The world is not a simple place. 

Everyday we get out of bed, brush our teeth and step into a world filled with people who scuff their feet across the line between right and wrong. When policymakers discriminate against a certain group — when someone steps too far across that line — we cannot remain silent. It is our responsibility to speak truth to power and give a voice to those who go unheard.

Not everything printed in a newspaper needs to be dark and gloomy. People tend to assume that headlines are always filled with bad news, or perhaps they assume that journalism exists as a reclusive society for men in fedoras who spend their lives hunched over typewriters, drinking whiskey and clicking away through the night. This simply is not the case.

Newspapers serve as a platform for social discourse. They give everyday people the space to speak their mind on issues that matter to them. The world needs writers to lay out an issue in under 600 words and to untangle issues of debate — the Opinions section of The Olaf Messenger is dedicated to serving this purpose.

In the Opinions section, no topic is off-limits. A few personal favorite editorials from last year include: “Facial recognition surveillance cannot coexist with student privacy,” “Obama calls out cancel culture” and last but not least, “An open letter to my tropical fish.”

We welcome all students to contribute as guest writers to The Olaf Messenger, and if you want to cover a topic outside of traditional reporting, the Opinions section is the place for you. From first years to seniors, we want to hear your side of the story. What do you think the St. Olaf community should know?

Each article for our newspaper takes anywhere from a half hour to two or three hours to write, depending on your level of investment and the amount of time you agonize over the word choice. And don’t worry about writing a piece with flawless grammar; we have a team of Copy Editors ready to review your writing as soon as you finish. 

We want to hear your opinion about the issues that matter to you. Tell us about your experience with life on campus. Do you have a strong opinion about politics or global events? Consider pulling together a quick-witted social commentary or anything thoughtful, uplifting, analytical, cynical, satirical — take your pick.

If you are interested in writing an article for our newspaper, join one of our weekly pitch meetings on Sunday nights or ask one of our editors to add you to our writers alias. 

We want to hear from you, and your voice deserves to be heard.