Why I Created Flux Magazine by Noelle S. Dahl
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In April of 2018, I was elected into the position of SSU Senator of Arts and Humanities. I remember the feeling of pride in shaking the hand of the former Arts and Humanities Senator as she relinquished her position to me. As she released my hand, she looked at me and muttered, “good luck.” I did not think twice about it. Saying “good luck” is only natural in our language. And yet, as I look back, I now understand that her wishing me luck was not just a polite nor habitual comment. She meant it.
In the CSU system, student representatives must receive training for their positions during summer retreats and orientation sessions. Walking into a beach house that had been rented for our team-building retreat, posters labeled ‘white fragility’, ‘white privilege’, ‘white feminism’, and ‘white tears’ were strung wall to wall. I expected positional trading to educate myself and my fellow elected students on how to present themselves in a formal setting, draft resolutions, and become proficient in campus outreach. Instead, I had to sit through presentation after presentation which encouraged the alter of spelling the word “woman” to “womyn” to dissociate the word “man” from the student vocabulary. Any disagreement would not only be recognized as non- inclusive or offensive but would lead to the end of the conversation entirely.
In short, even as an elected representative, my speech was being censored. I began reading Girard’s Mimetic Theory which suggests that our desires are molded by our influencers and I have seen that students are overly influenced by professors and student affairs as well. So much so that students often accept other’s political opinions as valid instead of critically determining their own. To some professors, a lecture hall is not just a setting to educate students on their academic specialization, yet it is a stage to present swayed political theories or bias comments awaiting anyone bold enough to challenge them. Girard’s theory guides us to understand how political trends come to be on college campuses.
The crumbling of political debate on our campus is nothing new. In 1976, faculty at Sonoma State University wanted to publish journalism that had been previously censored to educate students about the significance of free press. There then came Project Censored, a watchdog organization that is still active today. Carl Jensen, the founder of Project Censored, aimed to strengthen the critical thinking skills of not only students but staff too. Whether Jensen noticed a problem in the vanishing academic freedoms on campus or if he, as an American, wanted to ensure all access to media for everyone, he created a solution. A solution that is now living in nearly fifty years after its formation.
So, as I’ve witnessed similar factors in our institution, here’s my solution. I created the Flux Magazine to extend to more universities in time and advocate for free press through The Grey Area. The Grey Area is aimed to embrace political debate by specifically publishing student opinions and experiences on college campuses regarding academic freedom. We strive to broaden political communication so that we could all converse empathetically and without the fear of a grade deduction. With this being said, welcome to Flux Magazine.