Editorial: Sharing the Burden

Last issue, we asked for your attention. We asked the community to take a moment and get engaged; we asked the community to do something. Our readers, in return, responded. Between March 27 (the day after President John Bravman sent the initial email regarding the WVBU incident) and April 7 (the day before this issue went into full production), individuals heeded our call to participate in discourse. Our website served host to a record 14,666 sessions during that period, thrashing our weekly average of approximately 1,500 sessions. Of those sessions, 74.4 percent were visitors who had not previously visited our website.

The numbers don’t lie—the engagement and personal drive to seek and participate in discourse was there. That, on its own, is a step forward.

In addition to the traffic on the website as a whole, the analytics behind Marcus Hernandez’s ’15 letter to the editor published in issue nine are robust. Of the 14,666 sessions, 10,965 sessions, or 74.8 percent of the total, entered the Bucknellian’s website directly to that letter, and 12,488 individuals in total viewed the letter. Finally, the average amount of time those couple thousand individuals spent on the letter was eight minutes, exceeding the usual average of several seconds evident when visitors open a page, glance at an article, and quickly close it. In addition, 29 individuals commented on articles on the website, 26 of which were on Marcus’s piece.

Essentially, people–a lot of people–immersed themselves in a piece that expressed a view not commonly voiced on the University’s campus. Some might have agreed with it entirely, some might have disagreed with every point, and others might have found themselves transitioning between agreement and disagreement. None of that is the point. Regardless of opinion, most were able to walk away from the piece having obtained a new perspective, but there is quite a bit still left to do.

One point Hernandez makes in his letter that warrants attention is that minorities should not have to carry the entire burden of changing the culture.

“I couldn’t understand why I had to be the one (as a person of color) to confront the ignorance that I faced and didn’t ask for and didn’t cause. I didn’t understand why I had to clean up someone else’s mess; why it was my job to help fix those who seemed to have a problem with me over things I could not change,” Hernandez said.

This can also extend beyond minorities, encompassing those who are actively involved in the discussions, are aware of the problem, and are seeking change. The individuals who should take on a load of the burden are not the ones who make up the group who are commonly found at the conversations surrounding issues of race and prejudices, regardless of the background. Rather, it is the responsibility of those who are apathetic or insensitive toward the issue to get involved and take on a load.

The Solidarity Ceremony hosted by Bucknell Student Government (BSG) and various other organizations set to take place on April 14 serves as the perfect opportunity for others to pick up the slack. To those who have remained apathetic and removed from it all, this event is the perfect opportunity to get a foot in, and to those who have been involved from the get-go, this is an opportunity to be heard. This issue, we are asking the community to share the burden.

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