Journal to bring arts recognition

Graphic by: Lena Yang

Graphic by: Shannon Millar

The Laurier Journal of Arts (LUJA) is an initiative that has carried over from last year by a group of students to promote the works of students from a variety of departments within the faculty of arts. It is funded through the Centre for Intellectual Development Student Society which receives support from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union.

Kevin Gerlach, chairperson of the management board for LUJA, said the goals of the journal are two-fold.

“We want to raise the profile of the faculty of arts at Wilfrid Laurier University. Arts are the largest faculty and yet in terms of profile we felt you don’t hear much from it. Second, we want to help students get their work out there and help them with writing,” Gerlach said.

Appearing in both online and print editions, the journal will be accepting work that receives 80 per cent or over in an arts course, which has to be submitted in an arts class and graded by a professor. Gerlach said this comes from their “concern for the highest quality and diversity.”

“We want to make certain we capture the diversity of the student community in the faculty of arts.”

In terms of any restriction to submissions, Gerlach said that LUJA will be looking at the academic quality of the work.

“If something was to be judged and deemed offensive, we would provide a provision that people might find that work offensive and view it in context.”

LUJA feels the importance of the journal comes from what they feel is the absence of awareness of work done by Laurier arts students.

“It’s the general idea that, despite being the largest faculty on campus, you don’t hear that much about the arts on campus; it’s a sort of silent faculty in that regard. We think there is so much to be said about the work being done by the students in the varying departments in the faculty of arts,” Gerlach said.

Myles Davis, a first-year arts student, believes the journal is a good thing.

“I see no problem with it,” he said. “I think I would read it if it was available to students.”

Janine Matetich, a fifth-year history student, felt similarly about the journal.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for arts students to get their work out there. I’d read it.”

Matetich said that, as long as the journal is accessible, she feels people would pick it up.

Gerlach believes the opportunities produced by the LUJA will improve the student experience at Laurier by helping students improve their writing and engaging them in an academic process.

Gerlach cautions the biggest issue moving forward is whether people are aware of it.

“Our biggest concern right now is whether or not people know about us and what were doing,” he said.

“Whether we have succeeded is whether we produce something that isn’t simply internal to the faculty of arts. We want it to say something and mean something to the students who contribute to it.”
They are currently in the process of putting together an editing panel, which Gerlach said they will “try to make as diverse and represent as much of the student community [as possible].”

Applications will be accepted until the end of January with the goal of having a summer publication that will be ready for students next fall.

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