The editorial staff of The Villanovan is predominantly white. Of the ten editors, two identify as people of color. This week’s piece titled, “Race on Campus,” relied heavily upon these two editors for content and production. Reflecting upon the culmination of this three month project, we as a staff cannot help but wonder whether this piece would have happened without these editors and their position on the paper.
As the newspaper of record for the University, we feel it is our responsibility to provide a platform for all students to feel heard. It must be a conscious decision to advocate for the voices of the underrepresented. It’s a tough job, and we’ve failed before. And we will again. We miss the mark despite our efforts. But this week we think we got it right.
As white students, we usually don’t have to think about race. It doesn’t affect our day-to-day experiences. Our position of privilege often translates to a position of blindness.
A pervasive theme in Caroline’s article is pressure felt by students of color to to serve as the “voice of the minority.” Though unfair, the students who pick up this responsibility are integral to challenging the perspectives of their fellow classmates. But storytelling is a two-way street. A voice can only go so far without an audience willing to listen.
We urge you to be that audience. Sit with the stories of your classmates this week. Read with an active and open mind. Talk less, listen more. Challenge yourself. Let this article be the first step towards a better understanding of those around you.
If your classmates can have the courage to speak their truths, please have the courage to listen.